All About Hearing Protection

All About Hearing Protection

Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

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Many of us take our hearing for granted, with the majority of people not thinking about what it may be like to lose our hearing until the process starts. As a result, few people take the time and effort into ensuring that our ears are protected, especially when it comes to noise.

Failing to do so can be quite a mistake, as noise-induced hearing loss can be much more common than you might think. Alongside age, an excess level of noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, with this also being possible in short-term exposure to a large amount of it.

Because of this, hearing loss prevention is something that everybody should consider, especially if you’re going to be exposed to a loud environment regularly. While the majority of us would think to use earplugs, these can often not be as effective as we may need.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to put up with any damage to your ears because of this noise. Instead, you should be able to take advantage of custom hearing protection, although many of us may not know what this entails.

As a result, there are quite a few things that you should be aware of if you’re planning on taking advantage of custom-made earplugs.

What Is A Custom-Molded Earplug?

A custom-molded earplug is one that’s made in a laboratory to conform to the size and shape of your ears. This process makes it much different from disposable earplugs, which take a one-size-fits-all approach to protect your hearing.

The custom-made items will be based on an impression that’s taken of your ear, with this also including your inner ear canal, among other areas. This impression will typically be taken by a trained hearing professional who will then send it to the lab so that the earplugs can then be made for you.

While much of this will be obvious to many people, there are a few parts to the products that many people may find surprising. The first of these is that custom-molded earplugs will often be made of different materials than their disposable counterparts, which can have a range of benefits.

Alongside this is that they can often change shape when they’re in your ear, especially when you’re talking on chewing. There are a variety of reasons why this can be an essential feature in an earplug.

One of the more notable of these is that disposable products can be stiff, which can then cause minor damage to your inner ear canal when you’re talking. This shouldn’t be the case with a custom-molded product, which should avoid the majority of this.

The Importance of Hearing Protection

Many people may wonder why choosing a custom-made earplug can be important. The primary reason for this is how much more effective the products can be in protecting your hearing than their disposable counterparts.

While the majority of this will be seen in preventing noise damage more effectively, there can be a few other reasons alongside this. One of the more notable of these is that your ears shouldn’t be damaged by the plugs themselves, even if disposable earplugs may only play a minor role in this.

It should also be noted that they can often lead to much fewer ear infections than disposable earplugs, especially if you need to wear them regularly. While these can be quite irritating in the short-term, what you may not have realized is that the infections can also have long-term effects on your hearing.

Avoiding these can play a vital role in ensuring that you don’t suffer from hearing loss over the long-term. While you may still be affected by an age-related reduction in hearing, you shouldn’t have to worry about it being caused by anything else.

As a result, you should have much more peace of mind when using custom-made earplugs rather than disposable ones.

Why You Should Choose A Custom-Molded Earplug

While protecting your hearing is the most notable benefit of custom-molded earplugs, you may be surprised to know that there are a variety of other benefits to using them. The first of these is that they can be much more cost-effective than their disposable counterparts.

While the products will cost somewhat more up-front, you should see a significant amount of savings in the long-term. The majority of this will be seen in the fact that disposable earplugs won’t last too long, due to its design.

Custom-molded earplugs can also be much more effective at preventing ear infections, which their disposable counterparts can’t say. The majority of this is driven by the materials that are used in their creation.

As disposable earplugs are cheap, they’re typically made from inexpensive materials which can harbor a significant number of bacteria. This may then lead to a variety of ear infections, which you’ll naturally want to avoid.

In contrast to this, custom-molded earplugs will not only be made to fit your ear perfectly, but this should also be done to your specifications. As a result, you should be able to ensure that they’re made with an anti-bacterial coating, as well as from other materials that shouldn’t attract the bacteria.

Comfort is one of the more common reasons why many people avoid wearing earplugs, as they can often be quite irritating to use for long periods. There can be a variety of reasons for this, with one of the more notable of these being that some disposable earplugs may be too big.

Should this be the case, then they can create a large amount of pressure in your inner ear canal, which can be quite uncomfortable. Alongside this is that many of the products can often be too small, which also comes with a variety of disadvantages.

When the earplugs are too small, they’ll fall out, which is not only irritating but also means that you lose the protection that they provided in the first place. When you use a custom-molded earplug, however, you’ll be able to avoid all of this.

Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

While custom hearing protection shouldn’t have an impact on any age-related hearing loss, it will play quite a role in preventing any that can be caused by noise. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you take advantage of the earplugs as much as possible.

While there can be a variety of other factors involved in hearing loss prevention, limiting your exposure to loud noises will be one of the most notable. Though you might believe that having custom-made earplugs created will be a time-consuming and expensive process, this may not be true.

As such, there should be nothing stopping you from preventing noise-induced hearing loss having an impact on your life. Prevention is vital in this regard, with this having a much greater impact the earlier you take advantage of it.

La Canada Hearing

Hearing loss prevention is just as important as treating hearing loss. Contact us today to learn more about our custom hearing protection options.