It’s a misconception that if you don’t notice a noise, it’s not dangerous. You may have become good at tuning out audible distractions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still damage your hearing. That’s why it’s essential to wear hearing protection.
Benefits of Wearing Hearing Protection
Hearing loss: Wearing hearing protection lowers your risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Earplugs and other protective devices prevent harmful noise levels from damaging the delicate hair cells in the inner ear responsible for sending sound signals to the brain.
Tinnitus: Hearing loss is often accompanied by tinnitus, a ringing, humming or buzzing in the ears. It’s a result of damage to the ear’s hair cells, so wearing hearing protection lowers your risk of developing this condition.
Balance: Hearing loss can affect your balance, so you may be more likely to bump into things or fall. Since earplugs and other devices protect your hearing, they also protect your balance.
Safety: Hearing protection blocks noises that distract you from your surroundings. For example, wearing earplugs in the car reduces the noise level of your engine, which improves your awareness so you can hear emergency sirens and car horns.
Types of Hearing Protection
Disposable earplugs: Usually made from soft foam, disposable earplugs are cost-effective and easy to find. Their size and moldability mean they fit lots of different ear canal sizes. However, they’re single-use products and may accumulate bacteria.
Custom hearing protection: This type of hearing protection is made to fit your unique ear shape. They are more expensive than disposable earplugs, but they last longer and are comfortable to wear. They’re also reusable, so you won’t have to worry about regularly replacing your hearing protection.
Earmuffs: These over-ear devices completely cover the outer ear with cushions to block out noise. Earmuffs can be worn over earplugs for an added layer of hearing protection and come in various sizes and styles.
Canal caps: These devices are like earplugs but are attached to a plastic or metal band that goes over your head or behind your neck. The earplugs come in foam and pre-molded material. They’re convenient to wear, and the connecting strap reduces the likelihood of losing an earplug.
At Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte, we offer custom hearing protection options for work environments, musical performances and recreational use. Call 704-412-7975 or contact us online for more information.