Whether you work with loud machinery or find yourself in noisy environments for recreational activities, finding the right type of hearing protection is vital. Speaking to an audiologist before checking the marketplace for the latest products is the easiest way to find the right protection for your specific needs. In the meantime, though, you can familiarize yourself with some of the most important features relating to hearing protection by reading these frequently asked questions. 

What types of hearing protection are available?

Hearing protection may be required for various activities. When combined with the fact that everyone has their personal preferences, it’s no surprise that hearing protection is available in different firms. The three most common styles are earplugs, earmuffs and semi-inserts.

Earplugs are pushed into the ear canal to block sounds from reaching the eardrum. Earmuffs cover the ear to create a vacuum, much like headphones. Semi-inserts work like earplugs but sit over the outer ear and are not pushed into the canal.

When should hearing protection be worn?

Hearing protection should be worn whenever your ears are exposed to loud noise for extended periods. Any sounds that exceed 70dB can cause damage to the ears. For most people, it will take eight hours of exposure at 70dB for any lasting impacts to be felt, but this time is halved with each 3dB increase.

An audiologist can help you determine whether hearing protection is needed for your lifestyle. Some common examples include working with heavy tools, shooting, motorbike riding, and music production.

What is the noise reduction rating (NRR)?

The most important feature of any hearing protection device is the NRR. This is a numerical figure that informs you of how much sound will be blocked out. This allows you to select the perfect solution for your specific needs. For example, if you are exposed to 100dB, any hearing protection that offers over 30dB will do the job.

Understanding your requirements and the sound levels that you are commonly exposed to will help you pick a suitable solution for your hearing protection needs. When the style and NRR are both matched to your individual requirements, success is assured.

Is custom hearing protection worthwhile?

While over-the-counter hearing protection can provide suitable protection in a wide range of situations, many individuals wish to speak to their audiologist about custom hearing protection. These devices are made after taking an impression of your ear to provide the perfect fit.

They are a little more expensive but can be used for the long haul, making them good value for money in the long run. Moreover, they are guaranteed to deliver the high levels of performance and comfort that you deserve.

Who should wear hearing protection?

Hearing protection is beneficial for anyone that is exposed to noises of 70dB or more on a frequent basis. Whether you are hoping to prevent the development of hearing loss or stop your existing hearing loss from worsening, the right choice for the occasion will serve you well.

The benefits are not restricted to the prevention of progressive hearing loss, either. Wearing the right hearing protection can also stop tinnitus, headaches and a range of auditory-related issues. The key is to wear them consistently in the situations that call for it.