Music to Your Ears

Without any external source, tinnitus is an ear condition that presents itself as a constant sound in the ears. This sound can be in the form of whistling, humming, buzzing or ringing. It’s often caused by damage to the inner ear, which upsets the signals being sent from the brain’s auditory cells.

Developing tinnitus and listening to loud music often go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise to discover that many musicians suffer from this debilitating condition.

The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) was established to raise awareness of the condition, to carry out research to find a cure and to offer support to those who suffer with it. Recently, an album was produced by musicians who have tinnitus to raise money for the BTA charity, which receives no government funding.

Entitled ‘I Am The One In Ten’, (to reflect that one in ten people in the UK suffer from tinnitus), the album features 18 tracks from famous names including Chris Martin from Coldplay, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas and Danny McNamara from Embrace. Created by radio DJ and BTA ambassador, Eddy Temple-Morris, the album doesn’t just feature musicians who suffer from tinnitus; in fact, everyone who worked on the album, including the designer, label manager, plugger and rights lawyer, are afflicted by the condition.

The album’s musicians come from a long line of other tinnitus sufferers in the industry and the likes of Noel and Liam Gallagher, Louis Tomlinson, Phil Collins, Ozzy Osbourne, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Moby, Neil Young, Pete Townshend and KT Tunstall all appreciate what it’s like to experience this auditory affliction. Beethoven was also a tinnitus sufferer and complained that his ears ‘whistled and buzzed all day and night’.

Yet, the album aims to illustrate that it’s not just musicians who are susceptible to contracting this ailment. Anyone can get tinnitus but its prevalent in those who are exposed to loud noise including construction workers, army personnel and iPod users. Older people also experience tinnitus due to natural hearing loss.

Tinnitus can be a burden for many sufferers and it can lead to anxiety or depression. Currently, there is no cure. Van Gogh was a sufferer and it’s rumoured that he cut his ear off because of the condition. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help including sound therapy, acoustic co-ordinated rest and cognitive behavioural therapy. Spreading awareness of the condition through the album helps to highlight how different approaches can relieve symptoms for sufferers.

Now in its 12th year, the BTA also features an annual Tinnitus Awareness Week to promote awareness of the condition. This will next take place from 5-11 February 2018.

With a clear link firmly established between exposure to loud music or sounds, and the onset of tinnitus, if you work in high volume environments it makes sense to put strategies in place to protect your hearing. To help tackle this problem and to reduce your risk of getting this truly debilitating condition, noise control products – such as those offered by Sound Planning – can prove an effective solution. Get in touch for further details of our services.


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