HEARsmart Champion: Alex

Alex is a young geologist based in Canberra who wears hearing protection as part of his work. His appreciation of the need to wear hearing protection also extends to when Alex goes out to see his favourite bands.

“Because earplugs are mandatory in my line of work, it was easy enough to wear the same types of earplugs when I went to some live music shows. I actually get clearer sounds off the stage when I wear earplugs. This is especially the case with the sorts of music I like to go see live that has a lot of keyboards and synths. Sounds that tend to get lost behind a wall of bass, guitar and drums,” Alex said.

“As a part of my pre-employment medical screenings I have my hearing routinely tested and it’s above average for someone of my age. However, I have persistive tinnitus. This means if I go to a gig and don’t wear any hearing protection, my ears will ring for days afterwards.”

Alex believes he is not the only one with a hearing problem in his age group and thinks more needs to be done to help people become aware of what loud music can do to your ears.

“The only people I see wearing hearing protection at concerts are either die-hard, live music fans like myself or fellow musicians.”

“Some of my friends are concerned about what loud music does to their hearing and others are not so worried. I usually carry a few spare sets of earplugs with me to gigs in case they want a pair. The only people I see wearing hearing protection at concerts are either die-hard, live music fans like myself or fellow musicians who understand that you need hearing protection to get sound definition off stage.”

Most live venues now provide earplugs for about a dollar for a pair, so they do make some effort and most of the bar staff have them in as well. Pubs tend to play background music absurdly loud from TVs or jukeboxes which just impede the ability for punters to have conversations,” Alex explained.

“This, in my opinion, defeats the purpose of going to a pub in the first place. Publicans should be implored to turn down the music or, better still, turn it off and allow patrons to socialise and hangout with their mates.”

“There should be a public awareness campaign of some sort to get more people wearing hearing protection at concerts. This could probably be extended to turning the noise levels down on their iPods/mp3 players as well – I know it’s too loud when I can hear their music over mine.”