Three out of four young people who go to clubs or concerts regularly experience signs of hearing damage afterwards, such as ringing in their ears, and risk having permanent deafness by middle age. The future generation may think of hearing aids as ordinary as glasses are now, and hearing aid batteries may be sold at the check out counter, the way cigarettes are today.

66% of young people ages 18 to 30 go to clubs at least once a month, and 73% of people who’ve never been to a club, concert or festival, have ringing in their ears. While 46% say they know that ringing in the ears is a sign of damage, 59% didn’t realize that the hearing damage is permanent.

Brian Dow, of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) in the U.K., says, “We need to get to a stage where remembering to take your ear plugs out with you on a big night out is as common-place as remembering safe sex protection. If we don’t, we are roller coasting towards an epidemic of premature hearing loss in middle age.”

The RNID is also calling on the music industry to place speakers at a safe distance from audiences and dancers. Kim Morgan, of the Persula Foundation, says, “Hearing is like any other sense: your brain compensates for loss, until one day you realize that you can’t hear properly.?

Save your ears so you can hear the long-awaited interview of Laurence Gardner, talking about the magical powdered gold of the Egyptians, on Dreamland May 10.

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