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      Don't lose the music campaign

      Don't Lose the Music

      Our award winning Don’t Lose the Music campaign, supported by the Public Health Agency, aims to raise awareness of the risks of loud music and encourage young people to protect their hearing.

      Over Summer 2018, more than 80 volunteers supported the campaign by giving away 9,000 pairs of earplugs to concert goers at Belsonic, CHSq and Belfast Vital.

      Winner best volunteer Initiative logo

      We’re excited about Summer 2019 and spreading our message even further.

      Why should I wear earplugs?

      Four million young people are estimated to be at risk of hearing damage from over amplified music and more than 50% of people aged 18-24 have experienced tinnitus – 'ringing in the ears'.

      Many people experience a mild form of tinnitus that has little effect on their daily lives. However, when experienced more severely, tinnitus can have a negative effect on a person’s work and social life, affect their ability to sleep, and lead to mental health problems.

      Jacob developed tinnitus after a clubbing holiday in 2017 – read his story.

      How loud is too loud?

      When sound reaches above 85 decibels (db), you’re at risk of permanent hearing damage.

      Music in nightclubs is usually around 100db and a live gig can be as much as 110db. If you’re at a noisy event for a long time, it’s important you take steps to protect yourself.

      Find out how loud different sounds are and what the safe exposure is

      "The truth is that just one loud moment can trigger something that won’t ever go away. If young people knew how distressing tinnitus can be, they’d protect their ears at all cost."
      Matthew, 33, musician and producer

      What can I do to protect my hearing?

      • always wear earplugs – earplugs take off on average 15-20dB which takes you under the 85dB level and makes for safer listening – they’re the only thing that can protect you
      • don’t stand near speakers
      • give your ears a break from loud music for at least 5 minutes every hour
      • stay hydrated – dehydration can make the hair cells in your inner ear more vulnerable to damage, as can alcohol
      • if it’s uncomfortably loud or painful, leave

      I have tinnitus/ hearing loss – what can I do?

      If you have experienced tinnitus or hearing loss after a noisy event you can contact us for support. Our Tinnitus Support Service operates across Northern Ireland, providing one to one support and information about causes of tinnitus and how you can manage it.

      You should also contact your GP to discuss your tinnitus as they can check your ears for obvious causes that can be treated, and refer you to a specialist for further tests if needed.

      Email us at or call 028 9023 9619.

      Find out more

      How loud music damages hearing, how the ear works and what you can do

      "You don’t have to stop your love of music in order to protect yourself. It’s a good idea to get good ear plugs in loud situations like gigs whether you’re playing or listening – the modern ones are quite comfortable and don’t ruin the listening experience as some people think."
      Gemma Twitchen, Senior Audiologist at Action on Hearing Loss