A survey of the listening habits of the nation has revealed that most people don't know how much damage loud music can do to their hearing.
Action on Hearing Loss surveyed 1,000 people throughout the UK and 83 per cent said they'd suffered from temporary tinnitus and had 'ringing in their ears', but one in five would only be 'a bit worried' if they got tinnitus permanently.
Eighty percent of people admitted they didn't know loud music can damage their hearing or cause tinnitus.
From next year, it will become EU Law that all new MP3 players have a maximum default volume setting of 85dB. But the research revealed one in three people would override this setting even though this could result in damaging their hearing or developing tinnitus.
Action on Hearing Loss director of public engagement Emma Harrison said: "Many people are putting their hearing at risk because they listen to music too loud for too long on mp3 players".
"They can reach volumes in excess of 100dB – the equivalent of a pneumatic drill close by. While people wouldn’t choose to stand near a drill for very long, many spend hours listening to music at the same dangerous level, without realising that this could damage their hearing over time".
"During Noise Action Week, we want people to think about how they listen to music and encourage them to enjoy music safely".
The charity runs a campaign called Loud Music, which encourages people to listen to music safely. For more information, visit www.loudmusic.org.uk.