FAQs About Ear Protection
Preventing hearing loss is the best thing you can do to remain safe all your life. Although most people believe that hearing loss only affects older adults, it can happen to anyone regardless of age. Usually, continuous exposure to loud noises puts you at risk of damaging your hearing permanently. If you're overexposed to loud sounds, you may consider protecting your ears from damage.
But, you can reduce the risk of hearing loss by using ear protection. Below are some frequently asked questions about ear protection.
Who Needs Ear Protection?
Everyone exposed to much noise needs ear protection. Most people who visit an audiologist with hearing issues work in noisy work environments. If you work in an atmosphere with sounds exceeding the occupational exposure limits (OEL) for noise, consider getting ear protection.
Whether it's daily exposure or a once-in-a-while experience, you can always tell when to visit an audiologist for review and advice. You should talk to your audiologist if you're in one or more of the following professions:
- Factory engineering
- Airport works
Which Ear Protection Devices Are Available to Use?
Your audiologist will tell you about three types of ear protection devices. They include:
- Earplugs. If you can get customized earplugs, you'll protect your hearing from noise because the audiologist puts them in the ear canal. An audiologist should tell you more about custom protection for comfort and maximal safety from noise. You can get resilient personalized earplugs from an audiologist instead of buying the disposable ones available in pharmacies.
- Earmuffs. They have a unique design to cover the outer part of your ear, which enables them to block noises completely. The sound-assuaging material covering the ear makes the gadgets very effective in dampening the noises.
- Semi earplugs. This type fits partly into your ear canal and partly outside. If you're in boisterous environments, this type may not be the best fit because it won't protect the ears fully.
How Does One Determine a Suitable Ear Protector?
It would be best to choose your hearing protection device based on your working environment and its fittingness. In the case of intermittent noises, one should go for earmuffs because they are more convenient. But it would help if you visited an audiologist for review and guidance on the best selection.
When Is the Right Time to Buy Ear-Protectors?
If you're already worried about losing your hearing because of your lifestyle, then now is the right time to book an audiologist appointment. You also need ear protection if you're about to start working in a noisy environment. Don't wait until you see signs of damage to act.
What Are the Signs That One Needs Ear Protection?
If you're losing your hearing, your sensory cells may be getting damaged. Visit your audiologist if:
- You have tinnitus
- You have to shout to pass a message across
- Your ears ring during or after work
- You have a problem hearing properly minutes or hours after work
How Long Do Ear Protectors Last?
It depends on the ear protectors you buy. Non-reusable earplugs should be disposed of daily and not used for long hours to avert bacteria buildup. Plastic earplugs, on the other hand, serve slightly longer, but you must clean them daily.
If you buy custom earplugs, they can serve you for up to five years, provided the shape of your ear doesn't change. Your audiologist will show you how to clean them to maintain proper hygiene. Metallic and plastic earmuffs are more resilient and can serve you for many years. They are also easy to clean and some of their parts are replaceable in case of damage.
What Else Do Ear Protectors Do?
Ear protection also keeps you from developing tinnitus, a situation whereby you hear noises that aren't there. Tinnitus may not be critical, but it can be annoying when you hear buzzing noises that may keep you awake at night.
What Happens with Someone Using Hearing Aids and Working in a Noisy Environment?
You should avoid using hearing aids without using a protective earplug. But visit your audiologist to have them tailor-make your hearing aids and probably fit them with an ear protector. Do you have more questions? Find out more about Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids, where they address all audiology concerns. Call us today at 605-306-5756 now and book an appointment.
Interested in learning more?
Download our FREE Guide to Hearing Aids now!