According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011- 2012, approximately 70% of people exposed to loud noise never or seldom wear hearing protection. The best thing you can do to prevent hearing loss whenever exposed to loud noise is to use adequate hearing protection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that noise exposure levels should not exceed 70 decibels (dB) over a 24-hour period, and 85 dB over a 1-hour period to avoid hearing impairment.
Check out “Vital Signs, Too Loud! For Too Long!” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explaining how loud noises damage hearing.
you should visit your audiologist if you notice the following symptoms after exposure to loud sounds lasting longer than a day:
Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented with the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) and in limiting your exposure to loud sound levels.
HPDs, such as earbuds, earmuffs, and earplugs, help to reduce the sound intensity, though, they do not block out sound completely.
There are several different types of HPDs available, and they have different noise reduction ratings (NRR). The NRR is the standard rating system for all HPDs, and it is measured in decibels (dB), ranging from 0 dB to 35 dB, indicating the amount of potential protection the device provides. The higher the NRR the better the protection will be.
In choosing the right HPD, make sure your device fits properly. If it doesn’t, it won’t protect your hearing. If you want to ensure proper fitting, we can fit-test one for you. Besides the fit, we will also ensure that it is comfortable and convenient for you to wear.
There are different types of ear protection available including:
Over-the-Counter: This form of ear protection is usually disposable or can be multiple-use. These earplugs will reduce all sounds to some extent, and are great for reducing higher-pitched sounds. These earplugs are inexpensive and available at your local drugstore. When inserted properly they should fit in a way that completely seals the ear canal.
Custom-Molded Earplugs: These earplugs are created by taking an impression of your ear to have them fit the individual shape of your ear canal. Custom molds are comfortable and reduce the sound equally across high and low spectrums, making this earplug ideal for musicians and concertgoers. You may have custom-molded earplugs made by scheduling an appointment at our office.
Earmuffs: This type of ear protection creates an acoustic seal around the outer ear through a solid shell. Earmuffs are perfect for people who use ear protection often. A downfall to this type of protection can be the heaviness and bulkiness. Earmuffs may be purchased online, in a sporting goods store, or at our office.
Contact Infinity Hearing at (207) 451-2700 to explore all the different options available–earbuds, earmuffs, and earplugs. We offer a wide variety of generic and custom hearing protection at very affordable prices. We will help you make the best choice that fits your needs and lifestyle. Schedule an appointment today to get started.