Sarah Bauermeister

Associate Professor, Oxford University

Sarah Bauermeister is a cognitive neuropsychologist and epidemiologist. She manages scientific research for Dementias Platform UK and is Principal Investigator for ‘Blossom Early Adversity & Brain Health Programme’ and ‘Modify: Modifying Dementia Risk Through Lifestyle Programme’. She has a keen interest in raising awareness around the link between dementia, hearing loss and hearing aid use. She is passionate about removing the stigma of hearing tests and wearing hearing aids.

Ruchi Sharma

Audiologist
Ruchi

Ruchi Sharma is an experienced hearing audiologist helping individuals improve, fine tune and rehabilitate their hearing needs. Her patients' needs are always a priority where she focuses on improving their overall lifestyle and quality of life. A typical day can be working in care homes, doing home visits, working in hearing clinics and even visiting hearing aid patients in opticians! She has two beautiful children and loves to travel, yoga, and spend time with family outdoors.

Frazer Paterson

Director & Clinical Audiologist (bsc, pgdip, hcpc, mshaa)

Frazer, a degree trained audiologist has extensive and varied experience in the world of Audiology. With two spells in the NHS he was held to the highest clinical standards in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. His experience working for one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers has exposed him to the latest hearing aid technology and how to maximise its potential. Frazer is passionate that hearing loss should not be a barrier to employment, limit a person’s ability to communicate with friends and family or curtail any aspect of their life.

Adam Bostock

Founder, Alto Hearing and Tinnitus Specialists

Adam Bostock founded ‘Alto Hearing and Tinnitus Specialists’ following a career in the audiology sector which began in 2005. He has extensive experience working in NHS ENT clinics, alongside both adult and paediatric audiology. Most recently Adam was ‘Head of Commerical’ at Boots HearingCare. He worked as a regional manager and director of sales, leading a large team of audiologists and hearing care assistants. 

Michelle Hu

Paediatric Audiologist

Dr. Michelle Hu is a paediatric audiologist. She was diagnosed with mild hearing loss as a toddler and by the age of 10 had profound sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally and was fitted with hearing aids. Alongside her day job as a paediatric audiologist, she provides online courses that provide support and guidance for parents of children with hearing loss. She loves being with her family, experimenting in the kitchen, gardening and exploring new places.

Carly Sygrove

Hearing Loss Coach

Carly Sygrove is a Hearing Loss Coach and a hearing health advocate who has single-sided deafness. She blogs about living with hearing loss at My Hearing Loss Story and manages the My Hearing Loss Story online support group for people with hearing loss. She is also the founder of the Sudden Hearing Loss Support website, a source of information and support for people affected by sudden hearing loss.   

Iain n Edgar

Director & Clinical Audiologist (ba pgdip hcpc mshaa rccp)

Iain studied for his postgraduate diploma in Audiology at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. He has 8 years of experience as an NHS audiologist. For the past 5 years, alongside ENT and Hearing Aid clinics, he has taken tinnitus clinics and been involved in the Scottish Tinnitus Advisory Group. In addition to his NHS work, Iain has recently opened a private clinic in his local community of Clarkston, where he is eager to make a small but meaningful difference in improving people’s quality of life.

Mr Joseph Manjaly

Consultant Otologist, Hearing Implant & ENT Surgeon

Joseph Manjaly is a Consultant Otologist, Auditory Implant & ENT Surgeon, specialising in ear and hearing problems for adults and children. He is fellowship-trained in otology and auditory implant surgery and takes pride in effectively treating patients with hearing loss, ear discharge, discomfort, tinnitus and dizziness. He has a busy NHS practice at the renowned Royal National ENT Hospital in Central London, part of University College Hospitals NHS Trust.

Peter Lucas-Herald

Clinical Audiologist (msc bsc (hons) rccp hcpc)

Peter has a strong academic background, first graduating with a biology degree from Edinburgh University before moving on to study audiology at Queen Margaret University. He then completed a master’s degree in audiology, researching vestibular testing methodology.

Peter has been working as a clinical audiologist within the NHS, taking a particular interest in vestibular assessment and reassessment. Balance problems can be incredibly debilitating and Peter has a passion to work with these clients to regain their confidence and help them return to a normal life.

Miriam Warcup

Co Founder (BA MSc MSc)
Pink

Miriam undertook a Master's at Kings College London in 2020 in 'Gerontology and Ageing'. It was here that she specialised in 'Dementia Prevention' for her thesis, where she learnt of the little known fact, that untreated hearing loss is the biggest risk factor for dementia that we can do something about. Miriam's thesis was later published in the journal of 'Working with Older People'.

Since then, she has been on a mission to help spread the word and to empower individuals to reduce this risk factor by taking simple steps to prioritise their hearing, not only for the benefit of their brain health, but for their physical and mental health too. 

Her background is economics and business, but her passion has always been to help others. She's long had a keen interest in helping to reduce the monumental global impacts of dementia. 

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2 min read

How loud is too loud?

Noise induced hearing loss is the number one cause of hearing loss. This occurs when loud sounds damage the delicate structures and/or nerves in the inner ear. 

Unfortunately, once the damage is done, there is no going back. The good news is, however, is that hearing loss induced by loud noise is the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable.

Pink
Miriam Warcup
Co Founder (BA MSc MSc)
How loud is too loud infographic thumb

Introduction

Sound is measured using a logarithmic unit called the decibel (dB), which quantifies the relative loudness of a sound as perceived by the human ear. The graphic below demonstrates where some everyday sounds sit on the decibel scale.

Repeated or long exposure to sounds 80dB and above can cause damage to your hearing. It’s not just about how loud a sound is; however, it is also about how long you are exposed to that sound. The louder the sound, the shorter the duration of exposure that is considered safe.

To put this into context, the CDC demonstrates the average sound level of some every day sounds alongside the length of time that a person can be safely exposed to these sounds (in the absence of hearing protection) without risking damage to their hearing.

Everyday Sounds and Noises
Average Sound Level (measured in decibels)
Average Sound Level (measured in decibels)
Lawnmowers and leaf blowers
80-85
Damage to hearing possible after 2 hours of exposure
Motorcycle
95dB
Damage to hearing possible after about 50 minutes of exposure
Sporting events
100dB
Hearing loss possible after 15 minutes
A nightclub or rock concert
105-110dB
Hearing loss possible after 15 minutes
The maximum volume level for personal listening devices
105-110dB
Hearing loss possible in less than 5 minutes
Fireworks
140-150dB
Pain and ear injury

Source: cdc.co.uk

Other activities such as shooting firearms, motorsports, using power drills, or even going to the cinema or a gym class all have the potential to damage your hearing, too.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks that you can do to protect your ears from loud noise.

  • Limit time exposed to loud noise, where possible.
  • Use hearing protection when loud noise can’t be avoided such as ear plugs or ear defenders.
  • Take regular breaks from noise.
  • Distance yourself from the source of noise, i.e. from a speaker at a party.

It's sometimes difficult to know when out and about ‘how loud is too loud’, and there are a few simple tricks that you can use to assist. As a rule of thumb, 

"If you have to raise your voice to be heard by someone at arms length, the environment is noisy enough to hurt your ears."

You can also download the NIOSH Sound Level Meter app for free yourself which checks whether the noise level in your environment is safe or not. Apple watches also have a feature that alerts you if you noise in your environment exceeds a certain threshold.

Headphone use

Another source of noise induced hearing loss is listening to music loudly through your headphones. Experts therefore recommend the 60/60 rule when listening to music on your headphones.

"Listen at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day."

Using over-the-ear headphones or noise cancelling ear buds can help you to block out background noise & avoid having to turn the volume up.

iPhones and smart phones also have settings that allow you to limit the volume on your device, which means that you can cap the volume at a safe threshold and you won’t accidentally surpass it.

Image from rawpixel id 1208635 jpeg
Pink
Written by

Miriam Warcup

Co Founder (BA MSc MSc)

Miriam undertook a Master's at Kings College London in 2020 in 'Gerontology and Ageing'. It was here that she specialised in 'Dementia Prevention' for her thesis, where she learnt of the little known fact, that untreated hearing loss is the biggest risk factor for dementia that we can do something about. Miriam's thesis was later published in the journal of 'Working with Older People'. Since then, she has been on a mission to help spread the word and to empower individuals to reduce this risk factor by taking simple steps to prioritise their hearing, not only for the benefit of their brain health, but for their physical and mental health too.  Her background is economics and business, but her passion has always been to help others. She's long had a keen interest in helping to reduce the monumental global impacts of dementia. 

Learn more about Miriam
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