Roughly 18% of adults between the ages of 20 and 69 experience speech frequency hearing loss as a result of prolonged exposure to loud noises in their workplace. Once hearing is compromised, it can’t be recovered. It’s important to understand and utilize available hearing protection in all settings to protect the longevity of your hearing, as studies have shown that appropriate hearing protection can do so.
Styles Of Hearing Protection
There’s a diverse range of these devices, each designed for specific environments.
For example, sleeping earplugs, made from materials such as foam, silicon, or wax, are safe for long-term usage and are specifically designed to block out ambient noise during sleep. This provides a quiet environment conducive to restful sleep. Silicone earplugs, on the other hand, are reusable, durable, and can be molded to fit the user’s ear. Given their waterproof nature, they’re often used for activities like swimming.
Earmuffs, which completely cover the ears, are another type of hearing protection. Easy to put on and remove, they’re especially suitable for noisy workplaces like construction sites or areas used for landscaping or gardening.
Custom molded earplugs are ideal for those who frequently find themselves in noisy environments, such as musicians or concert attendees. These earplugs are secure, comfortable and designed to maintain sound quality while protecting against damaging frequencies. A hearing specialist can assist in creating these custom earplugs.
Electronic hearing protection devices, worn similarly to earmuffs or earbuds, allow low-level sounds to pass through while still providing protection against sudden loud noises. They’re commonly used by military personnel or target shooters. And noise-canceling headphones are perfect for environments with continuous background noise, such as airplanes or areas where lawnmowers are used. However, they’re not suitable for sudden high-frequency sounds.
Lastly, foam earplugs are an affordable and portable option for everyday noise reduction. They can be inserted as deep into the ear as comfort allows and can be used in various noisy situations. These can be easily found at local sporting goods stores like Academy Sports and Outdoors.
If you’re uncertain about which type of hearing protection is right for your needs, consulting with a hearing specialist can be helpful. Correct use of these devices can help prevent damage to the inner ear hair cells, thereby preserving your hearing for longer.
Regular check-ups are also vital if you’re experiencing hearing loss. Early detection can help protect your remaining hearing. For consultation with a hearing specialist or to schedule a hearing test, contact Austin Auditory Specialists.