Anne Savage, is a DJ, Producer and Presenter.
She’s had tinnitus for ten years.
Anne has kindly written this blog, sharing her own experience of tinnitus and hearing loss, in the hope it will encourage you to protect yours. As an Ambassador for Plug’em Anne is helping us to spread our message that protecting your hearing is so important because once it’s damaged it cannot be fixed. Please read and share this blog – the more people we can reach, the better.
“I’ve been DJing for over twenty years and I have tinnitus. It started with what I considered as ‘standard’ ringing in my years when I got home from a gig which usually lasted for a couple of days and subsided during the week.
What I didn’t realise was that week in week out I was doing irreparable damage to my hearing that I would have to live with for the rest of my life. When I’m out for a meal, I can’t join in a conversation because I’m unable to pick out individual voices when there is background noise, which can be incredibly isolating. This means not only do I have tinnitus I have hearing loss as well. On a daily basis I get random high pitched ringing randomly and there is a constant white noise.
As a DJ it is important to be able to hear the music clearly in order to mix; a combination of poor quality sound systems and monitors meant I was constantly turning up my headphone volume and the booth monitor volume to perform. I really struggled with comfort whilst using my specially designed decibel-cancelling earplugs, and shunned them telling myself “what’s the point closing the door after the horse has bolted?”. But if I could turn back the clock I would persevere with them. My hearing is ruined and I could have prevented it.
I guess if I could give anyone any advice, it would be don’t unnecessarily expose yourself to loud levels of noise for any length of time. There is no cure for tinnitus but you can prevent it. If you get home from a night out and your ears are ringing, you have damaged your hearing. Even if it goes away the next day, the fact that your ears are ringing is a sign and should be a warning. Don’t stand too close to the speakers when you’re out, take breaks and go to a chill out area – get into the habit!
The good news is, I look after my ears now and thankfully still have enough hearing to do my job as a DJ which I love but, I will never hear silence again. I recently studied for a degree (which I passed with first class honours!) and found the ringing in my ears got louder when I was in a quiet space making it really difficult to concentrate.
I think the biggest obstacle is feeling like you look silly wearing earplugs when you’re on a night out, and that it will impact how you socialise. Wearing earplugs isn’t silly! We need to change attitudes towards hearing protection which is why I’m an ambassador for Plug’em.
Please look after your hearing, wear earplugs with pride and spread the word!”
You can find out more about Anne at:
We are delighted to announce that the BBC have today launched an iWonder guide called ‘How can I stop gigs and festivals ruining my hearing?’ Anne was kind enough to be the presenter. Please do visit the site and find out more.
The guide helps reinforce the Plug’em message and we hope you will find both it and the Plug’em website of real help. The guide is being launched inline with the Glastonbury Festival 22-26 2016.
And if you aren’t already, please support Plug’em by following us on Twitter and Instagram via @Plug_em and on Facebook at fb.com/plugemuk. A retweet, like or share to your followers can really help us spread our message further. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org.