Sound advice to protect your hearing

Car alarms, snoring and nails down a blackboard are the noises that most annoy us.

Music lovers...should show some love to their hearing to make sure it’s sound-proofed for their future pleasure.
Music lovers...should show some love to their hearing to make sure it’s sound-proofed for their future pleasure.

However, hearing our favourite sounds, such as music and birdsong, is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Those are the findings of a recent survey by Specsavers.

Three quarters (71 per cent) of those polled said losing their hearing would seriously affect their enjoyment of life.

Almost half (48 per cent) said their most loved sound was music, followed by waves crashing on the shore and birdsong (both 41 per cent).

With research showing hearing loss can be one of the after-effects of Covid-19, Specsavers is keen to ensure we do all we can to protect it.

Gordon Harrison, chief audiologist, said: “We get pleasure in hearing the sounds we love and it enables us to communicate with friends and family so we shouldn’t take it for granted.

“That is why it is so important we do all we can to protect our hearing yet, on average, it takes someone 10 years to get their hearing checked.

“You should seek the advice of an audiologist as soon as you notice any changes, such as conversation becoming more muffled or if you notice the volume on the TV is starting to creep up.

“If you have been affected by Covid-19 you may also have experienced changes to your hearing, such as deterioration or tinnitus.

“While hearing loss cannot be reversed there are lots of things which can be done to help so, if you notice any changes at all, make sure you

book an appointment to see your audiologist.”

To book an appointment online visit

The nation’s top 10 favourite sounds were: 

1. Favourite music (48%) 

2. Waves crashing on the shore/birdsong (41%) 

3. A babbling river (34%) 

4. Rain falling on a window (33%) 

5. A crackling fire/children laughing (30%) 

6. A baby chuckling (29%) 

7. Walking on snow/cat purring/partner laughing (26%) 

8. Voices of your children (24%) 

9. A piano playing/the crunch of leaves beneath your feet (23%) 

10. A guitar being played (19%)

The most annoying sounds were: 

1. Car alarms (45%) 

2. Nails down a blackboard (41%) 

3. Snoring (38%) 

4. Dentist’s drill (37%) 

5. Arguing (36%) 

6. Music you hate (34%) 

7. Other people chewing (31%) 

8. Drilling (30%) 

9. Knife scraping on crockery (29%) 

10. A fire alarm (27%) 

11. People clicking their joints (25%)

And the most missed sounds during lockdown were: 

1. Laughing with friends (42%)

2. Waves crashing on the shore (26%)

3. A busy bar (18%)

4. A live band (17%)

5. Cheer when team scores a goal (16%)