Hearing protection may be critical simply because the world is noisy. There is blaring music, heavy traffic, sirens and road work equipment to contend with. The worst offenders are often tools and equipment used in the workplace. This does not mean the employees have to sustain hearing loss. The most common and affordable type of hearing protection are earplugs. There are numerous types of protection available to decrease or eliminate noise with the potential to cause damage.
It is important to understand how loud the noise has to be to cause hearing damage. Hearing damage becomes possible when the decibel level reaches 85 and the length of exposure is about eight hours. A normal conversation generally occurs at sixty decibels. This is far below the level of hearing loss. Speaker headphones played at full volume can reach as high as 105 decibels. For every increase of three decibels, hearing loss can occur fifty percent faster.
The Types of Hearing Protection
Hearing protection includes everything from ear plugs to customized models. Every kind of protection offers different qualities. Foam earplugs are often used by visitors to construction sites and factories. Because they are cheap, they can cause the ear to become irritated. If dirty fingers are used to insert them into the ears, external ear infections can result. Foam ear plugs can only be used once.
Silicon foam plugs are similar to foam earplugs, but the material is less irritating. The earplugs are designed to cover the auditory canal, but they cannot be inserted into the ear. They can only be used once and can fall out. Wax balls seal off hearing completely. The sensation is like being shut out from the outside world. Although they can only be used once, they are more expensive. Universal earplugs are extremely popular. The auditory canal is completely sealed, but the layer system eliminates the feeling of being cut off from the world.
The filter system gives the individual the ability to choose the muffling effect. There is a selection of filtering earplugs available. Earmuffs come in different models and can be used with a safety helmet. Specialty earmuffs are available for children being taught in a focused manner. The ear is completely covered.
Customized hearing protection is most commonly used by both musicians and motorcyclists. This kind of protection is customized, lasts for years and ensures a perfect fit. We have a variety of hearing protection products available at Regional ENT Associates in Gallatin and Lebanon. If you are interested in using hearing protection, please contact us today to schedule your consultation!