Roadshow’s message is loud and clear - but not too loud

Bionic Ear Show to visit Clare

Sponsored by BUPA and the Big Lottery Fund, the Bionic Ear Show tours the country accompanied by the ‘World’s Largest Ear’ visiting schools, colleges and community groups, warning people of the dangers to their hearing from loud noise.

During their visit to the school, representatives from Deafness Research UK will also be carrying out hearing screenings, reinforcing the importance of looking after your hearing and encouraging regular checks to ensure problems are identified and dealt with early. Screenings take no longer than 15 minutes and up to eight people can be screened at a time.

The increase in cases of deafness and tinnitus among the young is considered to be in part due to the use of MP3 players. So together with informative and entertaining hearing facts, the show educates the MP3 generation on ways to enjoy their favourite sounds safely so visiting Stour Valley Community School is particularly appropriate. The show also visits businesses to remind workers to take responsibility for their own hearing health in the workplace.

“The revolution in MP3 technology has given us music on the move, but an unwelcome side effect is that dangerously high volumes for prolonged periods affect people’s ears. This also happens at an earlier age than ever,” said Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK. “The fear is we’re all ‘downloading deafness’ and risking permanent damage and tinnitus.

“We don’t want to stop people listening to music. The Bionic Ear Show’s message is: listen to your favourite sounds safely. Simply turning the volume down will enable all of us to enjoy our music for many years to come.”

The Bionic Ear Show is presented by former teacher Tobin May, who employs a variety of techniques and activities to get the hearing message across.

It includes a 22ft long display explaining how the ear works; plus group activities like ‘guess that tune’, so the audience appreciates how easy or difficult it is for people with cochlear implants, so-called ‘bionic ears’, to hear everyday sounds and music.

The show explains how your hearing works, what can go wrong with it and, importantly, what if anything can be done to put it right once it’s damaged.