Ear plugs are an excellent way to protect your ears from excessive noise exposure. Anything above 85 decibels (dB) can cause long-term damage, and this simple solution allows you to participate in activities you enjoy without putting your hearing at risk. While all ear plugs offer protection, custom ear plugs designed for specific activities are your best bet. These provide a comfortable fit, especially when they have been custom molded to fit your ears, and maximum protection.
Ear plugs are available in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. They can be made of memory foam that expands to fill the ear canal, silicone that is rolled into a ball and molded to fit over the external portion of the ear canal, or flanged, which create a tight seal. When choosing ear plugs, look at the decibel rating to make sure the ones you are buying offer enough protection for your needs.
Those who come in frequent contact with water, such as swimmers and surfers, should choose special ear plugs designed to keep water out of their ears. This helps to prevent against painful conditions such as swimmer’s ear and exostosis, which can lead to long-term hearing damage if left untreated. They are typically made of wax or foam.
Musicians’ ear plugs are a must for anybody exposed to loud music on a regular basis. These custom ear plugs are designed to reduce volume without distorting sound by allowing in the full range of sounds rather than cutting off high fidelities, as other ear plugs tend to do. They usually include adjustable attenuators for use with different decibel levels.
Electronic ear plugs offer great protection to hunters and law enforcement officials, who face the risk of permanent hearing damage from a single loud gunshot at close range. Acoustic filters offer dynamic range compression that softens loud noises while amplifying softer ones. A valve closes automatically when struck by a sound pressure wave, protecting against gunshots, explosions, and other sudden loud noises.
If you participate in any of these activities, prepare in advance and purchase custom ear plugs. You’ll protect your ears that way, without sacrificing your enjoyment!