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About 10 years ago one Saturday evening I was enjoying a live band at a friend’s birthday party – the music was pumping and you could feel the energy in the room. The sound levels were high and that evening I left the party with my ears ringing.

The following morning I awoke to find that my ears were still ringing. I had never experienced this before after a night’s sleep. Unperturbed I went out to my recording studio and prepared to work on some of my tracks.

It was then that I suddenly realised that I could not ‘hear’ my music, I was unable to work and it really scared me. It’s hard to explain how the sensation affected me – but I liken it to a painter suddenly becoming blind and unable to see the canvas. Whilst I could still hear the sound coming out of the speakers my ears could not discern the individual elements of my composition – the ringing sound in my ears (tinnitus) was very disturbing. Nor could I add any other parts to the composition because of this inability to hear my music – I was ‘blinded’.

My first thoughts were: ‘how long is this going to last?’ and ‘will I ever be able to compose again’? I am a professional composer and this is how I earn my living. All I could do that day was switch everything off in the studio and think about what had happened over the previous 12 hours.

Thankfully the next day the ringing had completely disappeared and I was able to resume composing in my studio. From that day onwards I decided to have some custom silicon moulded ear plugs made and to carry them everywhere. I never wanted to go through that experience again. I have not suffered from any tinnitus since that weekend.

A ringing sensation in the ears is a possible first sign that permanent damage has been done to the ears. It is SO important to protect your ears and limit the time spent listening in loud environments. I’m lucky that I have managed to avoid permanent tinnitus by being proactive.

As an Ambassador for Plug’em I fully support the BTA’s Plug’em campaign.

Custom Made Earplugs

I use ACS Pro15 custom ear plugs. If you live in the UK then larger branches of Boots the chemist with hearing departments will make a custom mould of your ear and then place an order for the type of ear plug you require. I find the 15dB attenuation of the ACS Pro15 perfect for loud concerts, planes & large sporting events.

The PRO15 ear plug is custom-made using soft medical-grade silicone so you get the very best in isolation and fit, allowing you to wear them for hours at a time without fatigue or discomfort. Each earpiece is manufactured to the highest standards ensuring you get a comfortable, discreet and effective hearing protector that can be fitted quickly, easily and securely every time.

This blog first appeared on the Plug’em site and Quiet Magazine (August 2016). For more information on Tinnitus click here.

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