Unfortunately, our hearing can easily become damaged from exposure to loud noise. Many of us forget, but hearing protection is an essential safety tool just like hard hats and harnesses. The best way to prevent noise induced hearing damage is to avoid loud noises, but that isn’t possible for everyone. Individuals who are exposed to loud noise during the day should grab their hearing protection and always have some nearby. There are a few options for hearing protection to choose from based on you needs are preferences.
Ear plugs are simply a hearing protector that is inserted into the ear canal. Many are familiar with this option, and for good reason. Ear plugs are readily available and easy to travel with. They can be stored in a pocket or purse and are handy to have in instances of unexpected noise exposure. They come in both foam and preformed options and can be purchased with specific filters for musicians if desired. Custom earplugs are a great option for those who want the best comfort and protection. Custom earplugs are available though this office and provide many sound attenuation options based on the amount of hearing protection you require. They are available in both a passive and digital versions, and can address impulse noises and musician specific models. Custom earplugs come in many colors and styles, and an audiologist can recommend a model for you based on your specific noise exposure and personal preference.
Semi insert ear plugs
These are ear plugs that are held in place by a rigid headband. They are convenient when removed, as the headband can be worn around the neck when the hearing protection is not in place.
Ear muffs fit around your external ear and contain material that attenuates sound. They are worn with a headband like semi insert earplugs. This option comes in an electronic version as well for impulse noise. Ear muffs are a popular option to protect hearing around the house, like while using a leaf blower or lawn mower. The best way to keep your hearing protected from noise is to avoid it, however, we all run into instances where unavoidable noise is around us and should have at least a set of foam plugs at arms length. The consistent and proper use of hearing protection is important for those individuals who can’t avoid loud noise, and the effectiveness of hearing protection is reduced if the hearing protectors do not fit properly. Make sure you choose something that fits well, and keep them intact. Make sure they are handy, and keep in mind that if you think the noise around you might be loud enough to damage your hearing, it probably is. Better safe than sorry.