Tinnitus is a common hearing condition that can range in severity, from
Do’s and Don’ts When Selecting Ear Protection
Your hearing is so important; it enables you to enjoy music, effectively communicate with those around you, and enjoy many of the wonders of nature like birdsong and the sound of pouring rain, that make life all the richer. That’s why having adequate hearing protection is equally important.
If you are regularly exposed to loud noises, over 85 decibels particularly, there is a chance that your hearing could be permanently harmed, but good hearing protection can help to prevent that from happening.
If you’ve never used hearing protection before, you may not know where to start when you’re looking to buy some, which is why we’ve put together a few dos and don’ts surrounding the process.
Do: Look at the Noise Reduction Rating
Almost all hearing protection products come with a noise reduction rating (NRR). This uses decibels as a measurement, and what you will need to do is deduct the NRR rating from the total number of decibels you are likely to be exposed to in order to work out if the ear protection you are considering is right for you.
For example, if you are heading off to a rock concert where you are likely to be hit by sounds of 100 decibels, in order to lower the level of sound you hear to below the 85dB threshold upon which your hearing could be impacted, you will need to choose hearing protection that is rated at least 15. However, it is often better to ensure that you are well under the threshold and because the equation can sometimes be a little more complex, as you will see below, speaking to an audiologist might be a good idea too.
Don’t: Rely on the NRR alone
Although checking out hew NRR of any ear protection you are thinking of buying is a really good idea, it is important that you are aware that the stated NRR on the packaging cannot always be taken as gospel because not all products work as optimally as they really should. Because that is the case, many audiologists suggest that you deduct the following percentages from the NRR before selecting your ear protection:
- 50% for formable earplugs
- 70% for all other earplugs
- 25% for earmuffs
By doing this, you can really ensure that your ears are sufficiently protected front the loud noises you are experiencing, no matter what they might be.
Do: Think About Buying Multiple Forms of Ear Protection
Your ears are a delicate instrument, and they can react to different forms of sound in different situations in very different ways which is why your audiologist may suggest that you select multiple forms of ear protection. That way, you can tailor which set you use to the particular activity you are doing, and you can even double up on protection by wearing both earplugs and earmuffs if you are likely to be experiencing really high decible sounds at any point. When it comes to protecting your ears, the more layers the better!
Don’t: Choose Ear Protection That’s Difficult to Use
Although the most important factor in choosing ear protection, as your audiologist will tell you, is always going to be how effective the product is at protecting your hearing, it is also important to make sure that you choose ear protection that is easy to use. If a product is hard to use or uncomfortable to wear, you are less likely to do so, which means your ears will experience this as a result.
For example, earmuffs are really easy to put on and take off, so if you are only going to be using them for a short amount of time, they are more convenient than earplugs, However, good earplugs can be more comfortable and more likely to stay in place, which means they are excellent when you are being exposed to loud noises over a longer period of time. Think it through, and be sure to choose the hearing protection that works best for you.
Do: Think About Options
Buying ear protection off-the-rack so to speak, may work quell for some of you, but there is no denying that ear protection is more likely to fit properly and therefore provide more comfort and ultimately more protection, which is why you should not rule it out. An audiologist will be able to create a custom set of ear protection in very little time, so it is definitely worth considering.
Get The Right Ear Protection Today
To find out more about selecting the right ear protection, talk to the experts at Clifton Springs Hearing Center by calling us at 315-496-4314 today.