Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. Yet, it is still one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Why is this?
Some workplaces are unavoidably noisy. For farmers, airport ground staff, musicians and factory workers, noise is simply part of their job. Unfortunately, amongst these professions hearing loss is often considered inevitable.
There is a simple solution to this problem – ear plugs.
When most people think of ear plugs, they most likely think of the cheap, rubber disposable kind. The sort that just won’t stay in your ears no matter how many times you push them in, and end up making everything sound really muffled and distorted. These common ear plugs do not make a great solution to excessive noise in the workplace, as they are unreliable and uncomfortable. They also block out sounds the wearer needs to be able to hear, such as alarms.
Nowadays there are more comfortable and effective ear plugs available. Connect Hearing offers a variety of options, all of which are specially made to fit the customer’s ears and so offer maximum comfort and ease of use.
Noise reducing ear plugs
These provide protection against dangerous levels of noise. This is generally defined as any level of noise where normal speech cannot be understood (usually over 85 decibels). The following are examples of dangerously loud sources of noise:
- Lawnmower – 107 decibels
- Powersaw – 110 decibels
- Peak stadium crowd noise – 130 decibels
- Fire crackers – 145 decibels
Even though they significantly reduce the level of noise you are exposed to, these ear plugs allow you to hear speech clearly enough that you won’t feel the need to pull them out when someone is talking to you.
Musician ear plugs
Though the music might be fantastic, the noise created by a band, orchestra or DJ can be excessively loud and potentially dangerous. Musician ear plugs are a great way to protect your ears while practicing and performing. They have the following special features:
- Preservation of the natural responses of the ear, so everything sounds exactly the same – just quieter.
- They do not have the occluding effect of disposable earplugs. In other words, you won’t hear your own voice booming in your head when you speak or sing!
There is also the choice of four acoustic filters to suit your needs, each with the ability to filter conversation and other non-damaging sounds:
- 10 dB: these ear plugs are suitable for softer sounds such as violin, acoustic guitar and other string instruments
- 15 dB: suitable for most other instruments, these ear plugs can be worn around brass bands, marching bands and rock bands
- 20 dB: these are suited to most music environments and provide thorough protection
- 25 dB: suitable for those who anticipate being exposed to very loud music for a long period of time
Swimmer’s ear plugs
Swimming plugs are a great way to protect against painful infections in the outer ear and external ear canal. Cold water and wind in the ear can lead to a condition known as surfer’s ear, where the ear canal develops lumps of obstructing bony growth. This is more common in people who swim in cold water, so those who partake in ocean activities such as surfing, sailing, diving and kayaking are at risk for developing surfer’s ear. If bone growth has already begun, ear plugs will slow down the process.
Sleeping ear plugs
A good night’s sleep is key to feeling great during the day. But a blissful, uninterrupted night’s rest is difficult for those who are constantly exposed to distracting sounds such as traffic, loud neighbours or a loved one’s snoring.
Sleeping ear plugs are a great way to get the sleep you need. Extremely comfortable, they enable your body to switch off and totally relax. They’re perfect for:
- Individuals who work night shifts and need to sleep during the day, when outside noise is typically louder
- New parents who need to sleep when their baby sleeps while still being able to hear when the baby cries and wakes up
- People who live on busy roads
- Those who must deal with their partner’s snoring night after night
- Sleeping ear plugs block out around 30 decibels of sound. Once they’re in your ears, your next door neighbour’s lawnmower will sound like a quiet murmur.