What is custom hearing protection?
Custom hearing protection is an excellent defense against dangerous levels of noise. Noise-induced hearing loss may occur due to a one-time exposure such as an explosion, or over long periods of time, such as the hum of machinery in a factory where you work for eight hours a day.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Using generic earplugs may help, but custom ear protection is the recommended option. With ear protection that is molded from the shape of your ear, the snug fit keeps out the hazardous decibels while still allowing you to hear the sounds you want to hear.
Solid earplugs are recommended for any high noise activity, such as carpentry or gardening with power tools and lawnmowers. People who work in occupations with dangerous levels of sound, such as dentistry, hairstyling, factory work, airfield controller, etc. should consider custom-made solid earplugs to protect their hearing.
Your ears are unique, just like your fingerprints, only custom-made hearing protection can provide perfect fit, and repeatable effectiveness.
Custom Molded Ear Plugs provide full-custom hearing protection tailored to fit your ears. Your ears are just as individual and distinct as fingerprints – no two ear canals are exactly the same shape or size, and that means your ears are totally unique. That also means it can be a big challenge to find the perfect ear plugs for your ears, whether you need protection from noise or water, whether you’re looking for top-notch shooter’s hearing protection or just a perfectly-shaped set of plugs to wear while you sleep. When made correctly, they provide a reliable “tissue-to-tissue” fit duplicating every crevice and contour of the ear, which allows the user to wear these earplugs for extended periods of time without discomfort, irritation or constant removal from the ear for re-insertion.
Custom ear plugs allow for varying levels of hearing protection. Not everyone needs the same amount of hearing protection in every given environment. Some situations call for blocking out as much sound as possible. Other situations call for only blocking out loud impulse noise. While other situations require the ability to hear accurately such as listening to music.
At Safe Guard Hearing we understand that each person, each ear, each situation, and each environment requires varying amounts of hearing protection but also the correct amount of hearing protection. That is why we study, research, and learn about the constantly changing world of hearing protection to meet your unique needs.
Noise-induced hearing loss may occur due to a one-time exposure such as an explosion, or over long periods of time, such as the hum of machinery in a factory where you work for eight hours a day.
The Importance of Hearing Protection
Exposure to excessive noise during work or leisure activities can significantly increase a person’s risk of hearing loss and potentially worsen a preexisting hearing problem. Continuous exposure to 85 decibels (dB), for example — about the level of noise you’d encounter on a street with constant, heavy traffic — can irreversibly damage hair cells in the inner ear that convert sound vibrations into nerve signals that travel to the brain. Exposure to loud music, either at a concert or via headphones, is particularly dangerous since the sound intensity can sometimes reach 110 to 120 dB. Power tools and heavy machinery can also produce similarly damaging noise levels. The traumatic effect of sudden, very loud sounds, like an explosion or the firing of a gun, poses an even greater risk to your hearing. With shotgun fire exceeding 150 dB, unprotected exposure can lead to instantaneous, permanent damage to your hearing.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Our ears do not turn off. Day in and out, we hear sounds throughout the day, from birds chirping to cars honking. Even when we sleep, we are alerted to wake up by the sound of an alarm clock. Hearing loss is now the third most common physical condition in the US, affecting over 48 million Americans. Though 60% of the workforce experiences some degree of hearing loss, 60% of veterans return from combat zones reporting hearing loss, and rising numbers of young people lose their hearing due to earbuds and loud volumes on their iPods, noise-induced hearing loss is actually preventable. Unlike age-related hearing loss, it is preventable if we take the necessary steps in our daily activities to protect our hearing.
How loud is too loud?
As a general rule of thumb, if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music/noise, it is too loud. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, long or repeated exposure to noise levels at or above 85 dB can cause hearing loss. Federal regulations also govern allowable noise levels in the workplace, as well as the employer’s role in providing ear protection. More information on this subject can be found at OSHA. In addition to using ear protection, those who are regularly exposed to noise should have their hearing tested to see if the effects of hearing damage are already present.
The good news is that the damaging noise can usually be avoided by turning down the volume or by wearing quality ear protection. See below for several types of custom-fit hearing protection available at the Atlanta Hearing Doctor that are substantially more effective and more comfortable than poorly fitting, generic earplugs.
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For Hunting and Other Recreational Activities
Hearing is an important sense for hunters, who are sensitive to their surroundings. In the long term, without custom ear protection, your hearing may be damaged by the decibels from your gunshots. We offer digital custom hearing protection for hunters and other high-impact noise environments.
There are three different versions of digital hearing protection:
- All-around noise suppression and ambient amplification for a variety of shooting environments.
- Two modes for either intermittent or continuous shots in addition to ambient sound enhancement.
- A second mode that reduces wind noise. Additionally, we offer passive hearing protection specifically for hunting – and not for shooting ranges.
For Musicians and Music Lovers
For musicians and audio engineers, we offer in-ear monitors for live performance or recording studio mixing. Monitors enable performers to hear high definition sound on stage without damaging their hearing. Rock concerts tend to reach 120 decibels in volume, and long-term exposure to this level of sound, even for a few minutes, has the potential to damage hearing. In-ear monitors are custom made to fit your ear, to give you the best quality of sound and protection.
Our Musician Earplugs allow musicians and listeners alike to hear music at a safe level without sacrificing sound quality. These earplugs filter out the dangerous decibel, but do not interfere with vocals or instrumentation. The three filter levels we offer are: 9 decibels, 15 decibels, and 25 decibels of protection. These are also recommended for people who work in noisy situations, commute via train, or drive a motorcycle/convertible and for protection from noise in daily activities.
Interested in Custom Hearing Protection?
Schedule a consultation with the audiologist by calling (404) 252-7528.