When it comes to protecting your hearing against noise-induced hearing loss, earplugs are an excellent solution. For the best results, those made from custom molds of your ears can’t be beat. After all, everybody’s ears are unique; there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to hearing protection
Custom Ear Protection for a Variety of Scenarios
Earplugs were created to protect your ears from loud noises and to prevent foreign objects from entering the ear canals. While standard foam earplugs found on store shelves virtually anywhere will offer some protection, custom earplugs created from molds taken from the contours of your ears offer the best fit and performance, and will ensure objects such as water, dust and dirt do not enter the ear canals and cause problems.
Custom earplugs may be disposable or non-disposable. They are available in a variety of styles, including memory foam that is compressed and placed in the ear, where it expands to seal the canal; silicone that is rolled up into a ball and placed over the opening of the ear canal; and a flanged type with grooves that create an especially tight seal. Earplugs are rated by decibel level, and many have been designed especially for certain activities.
People who enjoy swimming and other water activities will benefit from swimmer’s earplugs. These are made of silicone, wax, foam or other materials, and feature an ergonomic fit designed to stay firmly in place and keep water from entering the ear canals. This helps prevent swimmer’s ear, a painful infection that causes inflammation, redness, itchiness and fluid discharge.
It’s no wonder musicians are prone to hearing loss – they are exposed to music on a regular basis, and depend on it for their livelihood! Custom hi-fidelity earplugs designed specifically for musicians reduce volume levels but don’t cut out high frequency sounds, leaving speech and music clear and distortion-free. They may come with interchangeable attenuators for use with different decibel levels.
Hunters and law enforcement officials will find unique protection when using electronic earplugs. These contain an acoustic filter that automatically lowers the volume of loud noises and amplifies quiet ones. When struck by a sound pressure wave (e.g., a gunshot or explosion), a valve closes, protecting the ears from sudden, permanent damage.
How to Use Custom Ear Protection Safely
The benefits of custom ear protection far outweigh any risks. Make sure you compress them before inserting into your ears, to guarantee a good fit. When placing them in your ears, do not put them in too deeply; this may push earwax into the canals and cause it to become impacted. When removing them, use a screwing motion instead of pulling them to avoid creating a pressure imbalance that causes pain.