Given that an estimated 30-million Americans will experience at least some level of hearing loss, the importance of hearing protection cannot be ignored. It’s something that every hearing instrument specialist would advocate to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. If your understanding of hearing protection is limited, you are not alone. The following guide should provide the clarity you deserve.

Why do the ears need protection?

In short, our world has evolved, meaning that we are now exposed to loud noises that did not previously exist. The average person can withstand sounds up to 70dB without experiencing any damage, which means you do not need to seek extra protection when conversating with friends or walking down your neighborhood street.

However, there are many situations where the noise levels enter the danger zone of over 70dB. While it takes eight hours of exposure to experience problems at 70dB, each additional 3dB halves the time. So, by 94dB, damage begins after an hour. For reference, a music gig will be around 120db, while gunshots and jet engines can reach 140dB.

Failure to protect the ears when exposed to high noise levels will lead to damage, meaning hearing loss or related issues like tinnitus. While hearing aids and other coping mechanisms can be used, hearing loss cannot be reversed. So, choosing suitable hearing protection is the only solution.

Who needs hearing protection?

Hearing protection can be used by individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The devices can be worn in a wide range of situations. Some of the most common include; playing or listening to loud music, working with heavy machinery, riding motorbikes or driving supercars, spending time on a shooting range. 

In addition to protecting the ears from noise exposure, hearing protection can prevent infections of the ear caused by trapped water and bacteria growth. Therefore, frequent swimmers often wear protective items for their ears too.

Hearing protection can be worn to prevent immediate and progressive hearing loss. Whether you already experience hearing loss and want to stop the situation from worsening or you want to stay on top of your hearing health to promote long-term wellness, wearing the right protection in the appropriate situations is crucial.

What hearing protection is best for you?

The marketplace is packed with various forms of hearing protection across multiple styles and manufacturers. It is commonly accepted that there are three main styles. Earplugs are inserted into the ear canal. Ear defenders (ear muffs) are placed over the ear like headphones to create a vacuum. Semi-inserts look like earplugs but sit just over the ear opening.

All of the above hearing protection products are available over-the-shelf in a range of sizes, colors and styles. Alternatively, it is possible to gain custom hearing protection. The custom-built products offer even greater protection, as well as increased comfort, hygiene and durability.

Ultimately, the right solution for you will depend on an extensive range of variables. To find the best hearing protection, consider speaking to a hearing specialist to discuss your options further. to discuss their lifestyle and requirements in detail with an HIS.