Many of us take our hearing for granted, with most people not thinking about what it may be like to lose our hearing until the process starts. As a result, few people take the time and effort to ensure that our ears are protected, especially when it comes to noise. Failing to do so can be quite a mistake, as noise-induced hearing loss can be much more common than you might think.
Alongside age, an excess noise level is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, with this also being possible in short-term exposure to a large amount of it.
Because of this, hearing loss prevention is something that everybody should consider, especially if you’re going to be exposed to a loud environment regularly.
Let’s take a look at the various types of hearing protection.
Types of hearing protection
There are three basic types of hearing protection:
- Earplugs: The most popular form of hearing protection, earplugs are inserted into the outer ear canal and fit snugly to seal out noise. You may have seen people wearing them at concerts or other loud events.
- Earmuffs: These are similar to earplugs, but they fit over the entire outer ear rather than just inside it, so they’re typically better at blocking out noise from all directions. Earmuffs are often used by hunters and others who spend a lot of time in the woods.
- Insertable devices: These are inserted into the ear canal like earplugs, but they’re designed to amplify sounds rather than block them out — great for hunters who need to hear their prey or shooters who want to hear their target before firing at it.
Regular vs. custom-fit protection
A custom-molded earplug is made in a laboratory to conform to the size and shape of your ears. This process makes it much different from disposable earplugs, which take a one-size-fits-all approach to protect your hearing.
The custom-made items will be based on an impression taken of your ear, including your inner ear canal, among other areas. This impression will typically be taken by a trained hearing professional who will then send it to the lab so that the earplugs can then be made for you.
Why you should choose custom-fit protection
There are lots of reasons why we think custom-fit is better:
They are cheaper in the long run. The first is that they can be much more cost-effective than their disposable counterparts. While the products will cost somewhat more up-front, you should see significant savings in the long term. The majority of this will be seen because disposable earplugs won’t last too long due to their design.
They stay in your ear better. Custom-fit hearing protection fits better and stays in place more comfortably than traditional earplugs and molds. The flexible material molds to the shape of your ear, which makes them more comfortable than other options.
They are more comfortable. Custom-fit hearing protection is made from soft, flexible materials that are comfortable to wear for long periods without irritation or discomfort on sensitive skin in the ear canal area.
You only hear the sounds you want. Custom-fit hearing protection allows you to hear clearly during activities like hunting, shooting, or working on construction sites where loud noises are common. Custom-fit hearing protection might allow you to add filters so you can still hear important sounds around you while protecting your ears from damaging levels of noise.
Noisy workplaces need to provide hearing protection.
If you work in a place where the average noise level over eight hours is 85 dBA or more, your employer must have a program to protect your hearing, including free hearing protection. You also need to be able to choose them from a variety of types that fit your job. This hearing protection must also fit you right, and your employer must teach you how to use and take care of your hearing protection.
Hearing loss prevention is just as important as treating hearing loss. Contact us today to learn more about our custom hearing protection options.