Protecting your hearing is absolutely necessary for the health of your inner ear. Our hearing is hampered on a daily basis. It can be through loud music, power tools, heavy machinery or traffic. Neglecting your auditory health may cause long term damage of your hearing. In this hearing protection guide, I will discuss about the basic knowledge on protecting your hearing.
How to Protect your Hearing
Sometimes, hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises can even be permanent. Any noises over 85dBs are thought to cause hearing loss.
You can reduce the risk of hearing damage by using hearing protection device, such as ear plugs or ear muffs. You can use these devices to block out some of the noises, if you are in a noisy environment. Ear muffs can give you protection against high frequency noises. On the other hand, ear plugs can block low frequency noises.
Turning the volume down of your TV, radio or music device might be another way to keep your hearing protected. A general rule says that you need to turn the volume of your device down, if you cannot talk to someone two meters away from you without rising your voice.
Choosing Hearing Protection Device
There are some factors you need to keep in mind before selecting any hearing protection device.
- You should choose hearing protection device that has good seal capability. This will avoid the entrance of air.
- You must give preference to your own comfort and convenience while using the device.
- If you work in a factory, you will need to keep communication with others. In this case, choose hearing device that can be easily used and removed when necessary.
Different Types of Hearing Protection Devices
You will find various types of hearing protection devices. Each of them has their own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages. The most common of these are listed below.
Disposable earplugs are the most common type of hearing protection device available. They are usually made of PVC or PU foam. They usually come with or without a pre-attached cord. Generally, one size of these fits all. These earplugs are made for single use. You should not clean or reuse them.
Reusable earplugs are made of flexible materials, such as silicone. They are tapered to fit the ear canal. You can reuse them and clean them using soap and water. Though these earplugs are more durable than disposable ones, they have a lower NRR.
Hearing bands consist of a pair of earplugs connected to a flexible band. You can wear this band in a number of positions. These bands have NRR similar to most earplugs. You can store the bands around your neck while not using them.
Earmuffs are rigid cups with soft cushions. These cushions seal around the ear to block noise. Earmuffs are made of plastic materials called dielectric or a combination of metal and plastic.
Electronic earmuffs provide the same features as standard earmuffs. There are also other features. These include AM/FM radio reception, two-way radio reception, active noise reduction etc.
I hope this hearing protection guide will help you to choose the right type of protection for your hearing.