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Following our conversation with clay pigeon shooter Corey Honess concerning his response to our #Saveyourhearing campaign, we caught up with student radio presenter Liam O’Dell. Liam was happy to talk through his experience of tinnitus and how he deals with it along with mild deafness.
10 per cent of the UK population alone suffer from a constant mild form of Tinnitus according to the BTA (British Tinnitus Association). Speaking with us about his Tinnitus, Liam told us;
“The best way to describe tinnitus -in my opinion - is to say imagine a whistling kettle that won't stop and cannot be ignored. The more attention you pay to it, the louder it seems to sound. Music definitely helps me to deal with tinnitus. My hearing aids can also 'mask' it to some extent. Otherwise, I try to find ways to distract myself from it, because paying attention to tinnitus only makes it worse.”
Liam is currently in his first year of studying journalism at the University of Lincoln, and has already agreed to presenting his own show on the community radio, Siren FM. Talking to NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society) earlier this year, Liam said; “Some hearing people think that deaf people can’t listen to music, but that’s not always true. I am mildly deaf and wear hearing aids, but I can still listen to music. In fact, it’s made me love it more, and that’s why I wanted to do my own radio show!”
Presenting his own radio show whilst dealing with Tinnitus has had its ups and downs but Liam has never allowed it to get in the way nor deter him from doing a good job; “I suppose my hearing loss has had an impact on my show. Obviously on a radio show it's all about the sound and music. Whilst I can hear the music OK, being able to hear my co-presenter Danyal over the music can be difficult sometimes.
“Thankfully, the headphones we use at Siren FM are closed headphones, and they tend to work well with hearing aids. I use Bose headphones for personal use and they work really well with my hearing aids - minus the occasional feedback.”
Our #Saveyourhearing campaign aims to spread global awareness of hearing loss and tinnitus. Worryingly, 90 per cent of young people have admitted experiencing ringing in their ears: a knownearly sign of hearing damage. It is imperative that people are mindful of the environments they put themselves in, such aslistening to music using personal audio devices, going to gigs and riding motorcycles. If you would like to find out more about the risk that everyday sounds can carry and how they can affect your hearing, why not have a look at our infographic, Why you should wear hearing protection?
When speaking about #Saveyourhearing Liam said to us; “I think the #saveyourhearing campaign is an excellent idea spreading awareness for such an important issue. Whilst I know music means a lot to a large amount of people, I’ve been able to hear people’s music even when they’re wearing headphones. I can’t begin to imagine what that does to their hearing, but it’s important to know how to listen to music safely. Hearing is something you can’t get back once you lose it, and tinnitus is something that won’t go away once you get it. Your hearing is really precious, so listen to music safely!”