Sound advice from DJ
DJ Leon Dahl loves everything from rock to house music.
But a lifetime of playing in bands and mixing up a storm on the turntables has left him with hearing problems in his right ear.
“It’s probably more damaged because that’s the side of the stage I stood on in bands. It’s also the ear I naturally gravitate towards when DJing,” he says.
The Mt Eden resident is encouraging people of all ages to look after their hearing as part of this week’s Deaf Awareness Week.
“I’m amazed at the number of people I see with MP3s blaring their ears out,” he says.
“A lot of the cheaper headphones are bad for your ears at any volume.”
The 32-year-old has cut his performances to a handful of times a year, instead of every Friday and Saturday night.
While he can hear normally in most situations, noisy occasions are a problem.
“I have frequency loss, which affects me in loud environments such as restaurants,” he says.
“Sometimes I have to point my ear because it’s hard to focus on one sound.”
Mr Dahl admits he was “pretty slow on the uptake” in terms of using earplugs.
But he’s determined to make the most of the hearing he has left.
“Music is something to be experienced for life and I would like to hear for the rest of mine.”
National Foundation for the Deaf executive manager Marianne Schumacher says it’s important younger people know how to listen to music safely.
“It has a major impact on a person’s quality of life through impaired communication and the social isolation that hearing loss can bring.”
She says the number of hours a person listens to music is also important.
While 85 decibels for eight hours a day is considered safe, at 3db higher only four hours a day is recommended.
For more information see www. nfd.org.nz.
Mix it up: Mt Eden DJ Leon Dahl is urging young people to take care of their hearing after suffering hearing loss after many years of playing live music.
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