Eddy Says

Eddy Says: Tinnitus Awareness Week

By | Published on Monday 8 February 2010

Eddy Temple Morris

I’ve been bombarded with calls, Facebook messages and tweets all day today. Some from the DJs on the bill at One Tune: One Cause at Cargo tonight, but most from individuals – DJs, producers, musicians, clubbers and gig goers – who have heard about our Tinnitus Awareness Week and felt the need to get in touch.

Either because they’ve just realised that they, like me, are suffering from this condition in some way, and are pleased to hear that there are people who can help them. Or because they know they hang out in the sort of places that puts their hearing at risk, and really ought to do something about it.

The last such message has just come in from Barcelona. It’s reached me at ten past five, as I write this last minute Eddy Says. It says “I didn’t know what tinnitus was till today, but now I know I have it, and thank you for telling me about this condition, because now I’m going to get earplugs”.

I’ve had masses of those “I’m going to get plugs” messages today, which is brilliant. Because everytime someone does that, that’s another set of ears protected, either from getting tinnitus in the first place or, for those already suffering, from letting the condition get any worse.

Getting the word out there is a big part of what Tinnitus Awareness Week is about. That’s what tonight is about, what this column is about, and it’s why Jagz Kooner was on 6Music earlier plugging our night and telling everyone about the condition. Thanks Jagz! And now you can do your bit, by passing all this information on, whether by Twitter, Facebook, email, or face to face.

And once we are all spreading the word, then we’re ready for the next stage of all this. I want to help change the law, so that clubs and noisy bars not only HAVE to protect those who work there (and be fined if they don’t), but also have to make their customers aware of the risks. And not just the obvious music-filled venues either. Even the bigger cinemas have sound systems that could cause damage, and they should be educating their customers too.

Just to clarify: what I don’t want is for the sound systems to be turned down. That would suck. But it’s all about enabling every gig goer and clubber to make a properly informed choice.

If I smoke cigarettes, I know – because the government have spent gajillions in awareness campaigns – that I will probably get lung cancer. I may not, but I might. Either way, if I then choose to smoke, I am making an informed choice. We all know the score: smoke now, enjoy it while you’re relatively young and fit, but probably pay later. If you’re cool with that, then I’m cool with that. As long as you knew the facts and made a decision.

It’s the same thing for this. Sure, go to clubs and stick your head in the bins, get the buzz of sound jiggling your insides around, god knows I’ve done it. I just never realised, and was never told, that it may permanently damage my hearing. Thanks to the British Tinnitus Association, and this awareness week, and the Remix Update, now you know that it can. And if, knowing that, you still want to listen to music at the max, well, if you’re cool with it, then I’m cool with it, just know the risks.

So as I say spread the word so everyone can make informed decisions. Tell that DJ, or muso, or clubber, you know who never protects his or her hearing, tell them to check out the facts. And if you want my honest advice, invest in some decent plugs, it is really worth it.

If you already have that constant sound in your ears, then protect yourself when in loud sound environments and it CAN improve. It won’t go away (well, it’s unlikely to), but take it from someone who suffers but has invested in some proper plugs, it really makes a difference. And don’t forget that the British Tinnitus Association is there for you, at www.tinnitus.org.uk.

I talked to Adam F earlier. We’re both very passionate about this, and he was the first celeb DJ to raise his hand and say “I wanna help you with this Eddy”. After our lastest chat I increasingly think this may be the start of something really big. Together we could persuade some really big acts to come together, somewhere like the Dome, and do a proper bigtime fundraiser for the BTA, who have bugger all resources.

We could raise some proper money for research and get the government onside for some kind of awareness campaign. God knows they spend enough on STDs, driving, drugs, and this is something that’s going to affect one in ten of everyone – probably more like 50% of everyone reading this, because if you’re reading this, then you’re seriously into your music.

So any ideas of how we could fund raise or lobby those in power, please Facebook me; if you know your MP, please mention this to him or her. Sorry to bang on about it, but it’s such a lost cause, and I do love a lost cause!

Thanks for listening and helping spread the word.

Much love,
eddy X

Eddy Says from this edition of the CMU Remix Update.