Why Hearing Protection Is So Important
Hearing loss happens for many reasons, one of the most common being exposure to loud noise (noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL). Sudden or prolonged exposure to noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels (the sound of an idling bulldozer) can cause permanent, irreparable hearing loss. This is where hearing protection, like earplugs, comes in.
While hearing loss is irreversible, that doesn’t mean it’s not preventable. Hearing protection is extremely important for anyone who is regularly in a high-noise environment, including target shooters, motorcyclists, airline pilots, musicians, construction workers, and factory workers. The following noises are especially dangerous with repeat exposure: lawn mowers, truck engines, motorcycles, garbage trucks, chainsaws, pneumatic drills, rock concerts, gunshots, and jet engines, to name a few.
Anyone who is exposed to noise exposure may need to wear hearing protection to protect their long-term hearing. Though store-bought earplugs offer some protection, custom earmolds and earplugs offer maximum protection and a comfortable fit that is designed specifically for your ears. They offer more security in knowing that your ears have the best possible protection against hearing loss.
Knowledge, hearing protection, and prevention can help keep your hearing healthy and you happy!
Custom Earmolds and Earplugs
As the name implies, custom earmolds are made custom to fit the unique contour of your ear. If you cannot get a comfortable or secure fit with traditional earplugs, custom earmolds may be for you. They offer some of the best hearing protection available.
Earmolds come in a wide variety of sizes and types. Some earmolds are solid, and some are soft or spongy. The type of earmold your hearing professional recommends will depend on your individual needs.
Custom earplugs are not just for those who wish to protect themselves from high noise levels. Custom solutions are also available for other types of ear protection, such as custom ear plugs for swimmers.
A wide range of custom products are available at the Hearing Center, including but not limited to:
- Custom sleep plugs help promote comfortable and uninterrupted sleep
- Custom swim plugs prevent moisture from entering the ear canal (ideal for swimmers)
- Custom “earbud” style earpieces allow you to be hands-free and comfortable listening while reducing distracting external noise for better sound while you exercise and move freely without your earbuds falling out
- Custom industrial and recreational hearing protection to prevent hearing loss in loud environments, ideal for concerts, race cars, dentists, security officers, motorcycles, factory workers, etc.
- Custom hunting hearing protection to prevent hearing loss from hunting and target shooting
- Custom musicians ear plugs allow for verbal communication and preserve signal fidelity while still protecting hearing; these types of earmolds come in both electronic and non-electronic models
- Custom noise-isolating earphones custom earmolds fit to your favorite ETYMOTIC earphones
Whatever your unique lifestyle, your audiologist has a custom solution to fit your needs. Your hearing is important. Take care to protect it for today and for the future. If you work in a high-noise environment, it’s important to have regular hearing appointments to check for early indications of hearing loss.
How do I order a custom product?
A custom product order requires a brief appointment with an audiologist. During this appointment, the audiologist will make what is called an ear mold impression. The audiologist uses an otoscope to inspect your ear canal for any debris. Next, a foam block is placed in the ear canal using a handheld pen light and a silicone material is squirted into the ear canal with a syringe. The material only takes a couple minutes to harden and then it is removed. The ear mold impression provides an accurate, detailed replica of your ear for the lab to make your custom ear piece. Custom products can take up to a few weeks, so do not be disappointed when you do not receive your earplugs the same day as your appointment.
Musician Monitors & Custom Earbuds
These precision in-ear monitors will be music to your ears at every performance, every time.
To perform your best, you need to hear your best. Stage performers are routinely exposed to hearing damage both from amplifiers and the ear monitors that must be turned up to potentially harmful levels just so that they can be heard above the music. Inside-the-ear musician’s monitors replace traditional wedge-shaped monitors with precise, isolated sound delivered directly to you, so that you can stay in tune and perform your best.
Today’s professional musicians know that the superior fit and sound quality of in-ear monitors provide clearer sound and effective sound monitoring at much lower volume levels. This means you can hear and perform your best while protecting your hearing from the prolonged exposure to loudspeakers and from damage to your hearing — one of your most precious resources as a musician.
Custom Hearing Protection Products
Custom-molded earplugs offer a degree of comfort and sound protection that you will not find in generic earplugs.
For Riders, Rockers, Shooters, and Everyone in Between
NIHL happens in all situations from concerts to recreational sports, from your work environment to your personal life. The best kind of hearing protection plan for you will depend on your lifestyle. There are different styles of hearing protection depending on what you need. We offer protection for:
- Hunters and shooters
- Concert and sporting event enthusiasts
- Listening to music through your personal player
Benefits of custom protection:
- A custom mold helps ensure your hearing protection stays in place and offers a secure fit.
- They are designed to retain accurate frequency response, so you’ll hear the full range of sounds — just at a reduced volume.
- They are vented to allow sound to pass both ways, which means the sound of your voice won’t reverberate inside of your ears like it does with most earplugs.
- You get specific, measurable protection with precision-engineered filters that offer the most natural sound available, and a clear signal that is not muffled.
- Custom molded from medical-grade silicone, these plugs can be worn for extended periods of time without discomfort.
- Several models offer replaceable sound filters so that you can select the level of sound protection you need for the situation with 10, 15, 17, 20, 26, or 27 dB sound reduction.
Make an appointment with us to learn how our comfortable, effective hearing protection can not only help safeguard your hearing but can also enhance your auditory experience.
Our custom-molded in-ear monitors are fitted into medical-grade earmolds that are comfortable for extended periods of wear and form a superior acoustic seal to give you just the sound you need. Precision drivers, integrated crossovers, and discreet cable connections make these professional-quality audio monitors second to none in terms of sonic quality, all in a package that is unobtrusive and will never stand between you and a great performance.
Media and music are more accessible than ever, making earbuds and headphones essential. With the rise in technology, it’s no surprise that there’s a rise in hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 13 percent of Americans ages 12 years or older have hearing loss in both ears.
Think about when you turn up your headphones. It’s probably during your favorite song, or to block out background noise. This common theme is what really hurts your hearing. With custom earbuds, you don’t have to worry about that annoying background noise; their secure, custom fit allows you to hear what you want to and blocks out what you don’t want to hear. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good option.
Plus, you can pick the colors of your technology, which adds to their appeal!
How to Protect Your Hearing When Using Earbuds
There are other ways to reduce the effects of loud music on your hearing.
- Be conscious of your volume (most listening devices allow you to set a warning when you’ve turned up the volume to a possibly harmful level).
- Be conscious of how long you’re listening to your music and at what volume.
- Don’t believe the myth that certain music is more damaging than others; it’s all the same. What really matters is the decibel level and the length of time you listen.
- Try the 60/60 rule — listening to your headphones or earbuds at 60% volume for 60 minutes at a time.