Protect Your Ears and Hear Better for Longer
Permanent hearing loss can’t be reversed, but some types of hearing loss are preventable.
After age deterioration (presbycusis), exposure to loud noise — or noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) — is the most common cause of permanent hearing loss, especially in adults under the age of 70.
Protecting your ears with custom hearing protection helps you avoid the damage that leads to significant hearing challenges later on.
Dangerous Noise Levels of Common Activities
Each time loud noise enters your ears, it damages some of the hair-like cells in the inner ear that receive sound vibrations and transmits them as electronic sound signals for your brain to interpret.
To understand how much damage can be done by various levels of noise requires an understanding of how sound is measured.
The decibel (dB) is used as the measurement of sound intensity with zero representing complete silence. Sounds ten times louder than total silence measure 10 dB, and sounds 100 times louder than silence are 20 dB.
Exposure to sounds below 85 dB, the intensity of normal conversation, will not damage your hearing, but sounds 85 dB and above can cause damage without protection. The amount of damage depends on the length of time you’re exposed and the level of intensity.
At 85 dB, you can be exposed for up to 8 hours without causing damage, but damage occurs with half the exposure time with each increase of 3 dB of sound intensity, which means at 88 dB, you can only risk exposure for four hours.
Exposure to lawnmowers, chainsaws, motorcycles, jet-skis, etc. (up to 110 dB) for more than a few minutes can lead to hearing damage, but it only takes seven seconds for your hearing to be damaged by intensity levels in excess of 120 dB (siren on ambulance or police car) when your ears are unprotected.
Many teens and preteens expose themselves to loud music through headphones (110 dB to 115 dB) for extended periods of time, but it only takes five minutes at that sound level to do damage.
Live concerts and major sporting events can exceed sound levels of 135 dB, while discharging a firearm can reach levels in excess of 145 dB causing instant, permanent damage without proper hearing protection.
Benefits of Custom Hearing Protection
Custom hearing protection is more valuable when it comes to providing your ears with the protection they need because it uses custom molded earplugs that conform to the unique contours of your ears.
Custom molded earplugs provide a more secure fit, a greater level of comfort, and greater assurance that your hearing protection will stay in place during whatever activity you’re involved in.
Custom hearing protection devices also come with additional benefits related to the activity they’re used for, such as:
- More accurate frequency response so you can hear a full range of sounds but at a reduced volume
- Venting, which involves letting sound to pass both ways, so your voice won’t reverberate in your ears
- Precision-engineered filters for measurable protection with more natural sound
- Medical-grade silicone construction to eliminate irritation or discomfort
- Replaceable sound filters so you can select the level of sound protection you need for different activities and situations
- Custom molded protection for shooting and hunting
- Custom ear protection for use with construction and industrial equipment
- Custom ear protection while using lawn and garden tools, chainsaws, motorcycles, and snowmobiles
- Custom molded earplugs for concerts and sporting events
- Custom earbuds for musicians and for listening to music through your personal player
- Custom molded earplugs for swimmers (to prevent swimmer’s ear, not related to NIHL)
What is noise-induced hearing loss?
Noise-induced hearing loss is hearing loss that is caused by frequent exposure to loud noise or a single extreme noise event, like an explosion. The damage caused is permanent.
How does loud noise damage hearing?
Loud noise cracks or breaks the hair-like cells in the cochlea that perform the function of receiving sound vibrations, converting them, and transmitting electronic sound signals to the brain for processing.
What are the signs of noise-induced hearing loss?
In general, NIHL has the same signs as any form of hearing loss, but more specific symptoms usually include tinnitus, high-frequency hearing loss, stuffiness and aching in the ears, dizziness, and balance issues.
Who should wear hearing protection?
Anyone who is exposed to dangerous noise levels for a time period that exceeds the safety guidelines set up by OSHA. This typically includes construction, heavy equipment operators, and factory workers as well as those engaged in work-related or recreational discharging of firearms, use of power tools, those who use lawn and garden equipment, or those who ride motorcycles or snowmobiles.
Are there different types of hearing protection devices available?
Yes. One of the great advantages of custom hearing protection is the selection of devices designed for use during a wide range of activities.
Can hearing protection be worn with other personal protective equipment?
Yes. Earplugs used for hearing protection will fit under helmets and other protective gear.
Can hearing protection devices interfere with communication?
Generic hearing protection usually muffles all sound, which is certainly better than no protection. Custom hearing protection typically includes filters that lower the volume of damaging noise while allowing you to communicate.
Are there any specific regulations for workplace hearing protection?
Yes. In the US, OSHA sets the guidelines for hearing protection in the workplace.
Learn More about Custom Hearing Protection
Would you like to hear better longer? With custom hearing protection, you can prevent the damage that leads to NIHL without having to give up the activities you enjoy.
Hearing & Balance Clinics provides custom hearing protection solutions that are a more secure fit, block and filter sound as needed, and are more comfortable to wear all day.
Don’t give up the activities you love! Use the adjacent form to contact us and learn more about custom hearing protection today.
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