Custom Hearing Protection
Why Hearing Protection Is So Important
Hearing loss happens for many reasons, one of the most common being exposure to loud noise (noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL). Sudden or prolonged exposure to noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels (the sound of an idling bulldozer) can cause permanent, irreparable hearing loss. This is where hearing protection, like earplugs, comes in.
While hearing loss is irreversible, that doesn’t mean it’s not preventable. Hearing protection is extremely important for anyone who is regularly in a high-noise environment, including target shooters, motorcyclists, airline pilots, musicians, construction workers, and factory workers. The following noises are especially dangerous with repeat exposure: lawn mowers, truck engines, motorcycles, garbage trucks, chainsaws, pneumatic drills, rock concerts, gunshots, and jet engines, to name a few.
Anyone who is exposed to noise exposure may need to wear hearing protection to protect their long-term hearing. Though store-bought earplugs offer some protection, custom earmolds and earplugs offer maximum protection and a comfortable fit that is designed specifically for your ears. They offer more security in knowing that your ears have the best possible protection against hearing loss.
Knowledge, hearing protection, and prevention can help keep your hearing healthy and you happy!
Custom Earmolds and Earplugs
As the name implies, custom earmolds are made custom to fit the unique contour of your ear. If you cannot get a comfortable or secure fit with traditional earplugs, custom earmolds may be for you. They offer some of the best hearing protection available.
Earmolds come in a wide variety of sizes and types. Some earmolds are solid, and some are soft or spongy. The type of earmold your hearing professional recommends will depend on your individual needs.
Custom earplugs are not just for those who wish to protect themselves from high noise levels. Custom solutions are also available for other types of ear protection, such as custom ear plugs for swimmers.
A wide range of custom products are available at the Hearing Center, including but not limited to:
- Custom sleep plugs help promote comfortable and uninterrupted sleep
- Custom swim plugs prevent moisture from entering the ear canal (ideal for swimmers)
- Custom “earbud” style earpieces allow you to be hands-free and comfortable listening while reducing distracting external noise for better sound while you exercise and move freely without your earbuds falling out
- Custom industrial and recreational hearing protection to prevent hearing loss in loud environments, ideal for concerts, race cars, dentists, security officers, motorcycles, factory workers, etc.
- Custom hunting hearing protection to prevent hearing loss from hunting and target shooting
- Custom musicians ear plugs allow for verbal communication and preserve signal fidelity while still protecting hearing; these types of earmolds come in both electronic and non-electronic models
- Custom noise-isolating earphones custom earmolds fit to your favorite ETYMOTIC earphones
Whatever your unique lifestyle, your audiologist has a custom solution to fit your needs. Your hearing is important. Take care to protect it for today and for the future. If you work in a high-noise environment, it’s important to have regular hearing appointments to check for early indications of hearing loss.
How do I order a custom product?
A custom product order requires a brief appointment with an audiologist. During this appointment, the audiologist will make what is called an ear mold impression. The audiologist uses an otoscope to inspect your ear canal for any debris. Next, a foam block is placed in the ear canal using a handheld pen light and a silicone material is squirted into the ear canal with a syringe. The material only takes a couple minutes to harden and then it is removed. The ear mold impression provides an accurate, detailed replica of your ear for the lab to make your custom ear piece. Custom products can take up to a few weeks, so do not be disappointed when you do not receive your earplugs the same day as your appointment.