Custom Hearing Protection
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is so prevalent in American society today, it’s estimated that even as many as 20% of teenagers have measurable hearing loss in one or both ears.
Fortunately, NIHL is a type of hearing loss that is completely preventable. All we need to do is avoid loud noise.
Sometimes, however, noise is not avoidable. Many activities that are important to us involve dangerous noise levels. Musicians of all stripes, concertgoers, gun enthusiasts, hunters, motorcyclists, and countless others need to protect their ears to safely enjoy these passions or professions.
And noise is not the only issue that may require hearing protection. Swimmers who are susceptible to ear infections, or those who need to wear earplugs when they sleep, can also benefit from hearing protection.
Off-the-shelf earplugs are a great option for many, especially if they are not required to use them on a daily basis, or for long periods. Foam earplugs can provide very adequate noise protection, though they drastically alter the frequency spectrum of the sound coming in. They tend to attenuate high frequencies much more than low ones. And because they stay in place by expanding inside your ear canals, they can be uncomfortable for long periods of wear. In spite of these drawbacks, they are very inexpensive and suitable for use in many situations, such as shooting or motorcycling.
Custom earplugs are the “Cadillac” of earplugs. They’re molded of a silicone-based material to fit perfectly into your ear canals. This makes them very comfortable for extended periods of wear. They can be fitted with a number of attenuators (the part that blocks some sound while still allowing some through) or even a solid plug when maximum protection is required.
Custom Earplug Fittings: What to Expect
If you’re interested in custom hearing protection, make an appointment with us today. When you come to the office, we’ll have you fill out a short questionnaire. Then you’ll talk with your audiologist about your lifestyle and which of your regular activities require hearing protection. They’ll be able to help you determine which type of earplug and degree of attenuation is right for you.
They’ll also administer a hearing test, so you can see whether you have any measurable degree of hearing loss. Regular hearing tests are an important part of maintaining your best hearing health throughout life, and they help you keep track of whether your protective measures are effective long before noticeable hearing loss becomes an issue.
Then we’ll take an impression of your ear canals. This involves using a syringe to inject a small amount of a silicone-like substance into each of your ear canals. The process is totally painless and only takes about five minutes. We’ll ask you to move your mouth and face for a few minutes while the substance dries. By moving during the drying process, the impression will be sure to result in the most comfortable set of earplugs.
The impressions are then sent to a specialty lab where a mold will be made from them. Your custom earplugs will then be made from this mold. The process may take a week or two, and then you’ll have your new custom earplugs.
Call Hearing Consultants, Inc. today to set up an appointment and start your journey toward better, more comfortable hearing protection!
Have questions or would you like to schedule an appointment?
Contact us today to set up an appointment with a hearing specialist to discuss your hearing health, hearing aids and the best way to treat your hearing loss.