Whether you’re a swimmer, a hunter, a musician or someone who works in a noisy environment, it’s important that you keep your ears safe. The best way to do so is to invest in a set of earplugs. We review the different types below to help you make the best decision for your hearing.
How Loud Sounds Cause Damage
If you’re regularly exposed to sounds over 85 decibels – about the volume of passing highway traffic – you should invest in hearing protection. This is because with enough exposure, sounds at 85 dB can harm the delicate hair cells within your inner ears. These cells are responsible for converting sound vibrations into electrical impulses that the brain interprets as sound. When these cells are damaged or destroyed, they do not regenerate, and the result is permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
Available at Dougherty’s Pharmacy, disposable earplugs are the cheapest and most accessible type of earplugs. Most disposable earplugs are made of foam, which is rolled up and placed in the ears where it expands to provide protection. If you’re on a budget or in a hurry, disposable earplugs may be the best option for you.
Reusable earplugs can be purchased in a big box store or online. They’re often made of sturdy materials like plastic or silicone, and some even come with filters that reduce the muffled sound that foam earplugs produce, making them better for music listeners. Reusable earplugs are the best option for people balancing cost with effectiveness.
Custom-fit earplugs are the gold standard because they are the most comfortable and provide the best protection. Custom earplugs are made of impressions of your ear taken in an audiologist’s office and are then made in a lab. There are many types of custom-fit earplugs, including:
- Swim plugs to help protect against bacteria that causes swimmer’s ear.
- Hunter’s plugs that block dangerously loud sounds like gunshots but allow ambient sounds to keep your senses sharp.
- Musician’s plugs so you can enjoy the music at a safe level without sacrificing sound quality.
For more information about custom hearing protection or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Total Hearing Care of Dallas today.