• 3 Ways To Protect Your Ears

    September 1, 2017

    Hearing loss, in any form, can happen to anyone at any age. There are many causes for hearing loss; it may be from natural causes like age-related and genetics which can be hard to fight against, but the most common cause of hearing loss is exposure to excessive noise.

    Noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL is caused by exposure to loud sounds. Damage to the hearing system can be caused by an intense exposure to sound, such as an explosion, or by continuous exposure to loud sounds over an extended period of time.

    Causes of Noise Induced Hearing Loss

    A sound is measured in units called decibels. While sensitivity to loud sound varies from person to person, 80 decibels is the safe upper limit. Exposure to noise levels over 80 dB can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. Prolonged exposure and exceptionally loud noises of short duration, like firing a gun or an explosion, can cause permanent harm and sensorineural hearing loss.

    While prevention of genetic and age-related hearing loss is beyond our control, there are some precautionary steps we can do to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.  Here are the three top recommendations from hearing care providers:

    Foam Earplugs

    Foam earplugs are the cheapest form of hearing protection available, they can be reusable or disposable. They are generally made of acoustically imperforate materials and are moldable so they can provide appropriate protection while inserted in the ear canal and when worn properly. The disadvantage of foam earplugs is that they can irritate the ear. If you must wear ear plugs frequently, you might opt for customized earplugs, which can be made to fit comfortably.

    Custom-made Earplugs

    Custom-moulded earplugs, such as customized otoplastics, ensures the best fit as protection is molded to fit an individual’s ear canal. This helps reduce the discomfort usually experienced after longer use. These are made of acrylic or soft silicone that can fit the ear and the ear canal tightly so it provides a superior level of protection. Since a majority of custom earplugs are molded from a silicon material, they last significantly longer than disposable earplugs.

    Earmuffs and Noise-Cancellation Headphone

    Earmuffs or noise-cancellation earphones offer more protection against prolonged or higher levels of noise. These devices work by covering the entire ear, which stops loud noise from getting to the ear. These hearing protectors have cups lined with sound-deadening material that surround the outer ears, connected by a headband. The cup shells contain acoustic foam that absorbs sound waves and reduces the level of sound.

    Hearing protection devices will only work if you wear them consistently and properly. If unsure of which type of protection to use, schedule an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional. Contact Beltone South online today or give us a call at (888) 906-5246. Our staff promises to provide a friendly and informational hearing screening.

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