The tragic suicide of friend of LTW, popular Manchester legend and Inspiral Carpets drummer Craig Gill shocked the whole of our community.
It has become more shocking after an inquest found an open verdict and also pointed to his suffering from chronic tinnitus – the high pitch sound in ears caused by loud volume and a real bain of a music fan’s life.
For years it was almost fashionable to wear the partial deafness and ear problems as a badge of pride but Craig’s death has woken many up in the community with Wendy Williams writing this quite brilliant and stark warning about the problem on her facebook page which we have used here as we couldn’t put this any better ourselves..
PLEASE LOOK AFTER YOUR EARS…
‘It is heartbreaking to learn that Craig Gill, a real good egg, felt so desperate that he has to check out of life’s hotel. His widow has asked for raised awareness of tinnitus as well as mental health in men. Tinnitus is a permanent condition that is best avoided in the first place.
Yet we tend to take so many things for granted, thinking it’ll never happen to us, or we are making uneducated choices. I’ve had tinnitus for many years, a price paid for attending many a loud gig over the years. I never even considered the potential harmful effects and had no idea what tinnitus was. I naively used to think that if your ears were ringing afterwards then is was a really good gig, the louder the ringing the better the gig.
I photographed gigs without even a thought that I was standing directly in front of the huge speaker stacks. I’ve learned to live with the permanent high pitched sound of an oscillator in my head, although it has effected my hearing a somewhat and may need to lip read as a supplement to my hearing. There are digital radio stations that play continuous music aimed specifically for tinnitus sufferer. I had to try a few to find the one that helped and I now fall asleep to native american music, on really low volume, when I need to. To prevent my tinnitus and hearing loss worsening, I wear Mack’s music specialist earplugs but plan to try Sonic II’s, which are both widely available at a reasonable price (other earplugs are also available). Yet I am still frequently questioned about my choice to wear them at gigs, but at least it raises discussion and awareness. All my music buddies please think about the long term effects of loud music and tinnitus, and consider wearing earplugs.
But its not just the music that causes tinnitus and hearing loss. It seems the topic of hearing protection is never a topic discussed in the motorcycle world and I wonder how many are risking tinnitus and hearing loss simply because they are unaware of the risks or because they think it won’t happen to them. I ask all my motorcycle chumlies, racers and non-racers, support crew etc etc to think about their hearing. The sound levels on a bike can be equally as damaging as loud music so please wear earplugs when riding or when sound levels could be excessive. Please also like, share or otherwise help spread awareness of tinnitus and its effects. I have tagged a few names to help start the ball rolling in spreading awareness, I hope you don’t mind but feel free to untag / tag others as you see fit.