We know that exposure to loud noise can lead to hearing loss, with working in noisy environments long known as a culprit. But what effect has loud music had on the population’s hearing? Today we’re launching a mass participation study to see how our listening past affects our hearing present. Here Tony Colman, drum & bass DJ and co-founder of the Hospital Records label, tells us how exposure to loud music has affected his hearing ― and why you should take part in our online experiment so scientists can find out more.
How long have you been DJing for?
I’ve only been DJing for 17 years — before that I was playing guitar in several bands. I’ve been making music in the studio for 30 years.
What do you estimate your exposure to loud music to be?
It totally varies day to day. Many days nothing at all — at gigs, a lot — but I stuff my ears with silicone earplugs when I’m not playing myself.
Tell us about when you first realised you had tinnitus.
It was after we did a Hospital Records album launch at a drum & bass night called Movement at Bar Rumba in Piccadilly Circus. I remember thinking “what’s that ringing sound?”, and then I knew what it was. The system on that night was stupidly loud and I remember almost feeling pain in my ears. Read more