Just because you work in a loud, noisy environment, you don’t have to accept hearing loss as part and parcel of the job. Just custom fitted for ear plugs that meet your specific needs. In fact, here are four reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are better than ones from the corner store:
1. Preservation of sound quality
Standard foam ear plugs muffle speech and music. By decreasing noise mainly in the high frequency range, rather than in the mid-to-low frequency range, music and voices sound unnatural and unclear. Custom-fit ear plugs will reduce sound more equally across frequencies while limiting sound volume by a lower decibel level, thereby maintaining the natural quality of speech and music. Foam ear plugs also minimize sound by 30-40 decibels, which is not needed for the deterrence of hearing damage.
2. Price & convenience
Custom ear plugs can last up to four years, usually for under $100.
Let’s do some math on the throw-away foam plugs:
$3.99 for 10 pairs equals $0.39 per pair
$0.39 per pair X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year X 4 years = $405.60
With custom-fit ear plugs, you will save cash in the long run and will avert all of those drives to the store. No one looks forward to purchasing ear plugs, so while the first visit to the audiologist seems like a burden, in the long run you will thank yourself.
Disposable ear plugs produce a lot of waste:
5 days per week X 52 weeks per year = 260 pairs of foam ear plugs tossed out each year.
4. No “Occlusion Effect”
Custom-fit ear plugs are shaped to the ear, establishing a deep seal that helps prevent this distracting sound. With foam ear plugs, the wearer will experience a hollow sound in their speech when speaking, singing, or playing an musical instrument. This frustrating noise is known as the “occlusion effect.”
High Decibels can lead to Hearing Damage
85 decibels. That’s the noise measure at which recurring exposure can trigger severe hearing damage. 100 decibels. That’s the noise intensity hit by a rock show, which is not-so-good news for music players or show goers. It’s also part of a growing problem: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 30 million individuals in the U.S. are exposed to threatening sound volumes, representing one of the top work-related dangers prevalent over the past 25 years.
Brush up on some decibel levels linked with traditional work related activities: a power saw can reach 110 decibels, a newsprint press 97, a chain saw 120, a sporting show 105, and a aircraft takeoff 150. The professionals who are most at risk for hearing damage include rock stars, manufacturing plant workers, construction workers, airport personnel, emergency workers, plumbers, and carpenters.
Occupational hearing loss affects tens of thousands
Kevin Twigg of Stockport, England understands all too well about the occupational perils of noise. Twigg worked on testing and correcting law enforcement car sirens — which range between 106 to 118 decibels — for three decades. After retirement, Twigg began to experience severe tinnitus in addition to substantial hearing loss that necessitated the use of hearing devices. Having failed to take the safety actions that would minimize the noise levels, Twigg’s employer was found accountable in court. Twigg was awarded a pretty large sum.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics knows all too well. In 2009 alone there were 21,000 cases of occupational hearing loss documented.
How to protect your ears at work
You could simply travel to the neighborhood store and pick up some disposable foam ear plugs, but as it turns out, there is a much more desirable alternative.
The preferred alternative requires the use of custom-fit ear plugs, often times referred to as musicians plugs, that your hearing practitioner can tailor specifically to you, your profession, and your requirements. There is an issue at play here. The world needs music players, carpenters, and emergency and construction workers, but you cannot make power saws and police sirens any quieter. The answer can be to lessen the intensity of noise that makes its way into your ear. This is through customized ear plugs.
Schedule an appointment and give protection to your ears
Do you work in an occupation that exposes you to a high risk for hearing damage? What about participating in deafening live shows or sporting events? It’s time to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert today. Custom-fit ear plugs will protect your ears. They are distinct from the disposable foam varieties, and do better at maintaining the overall integrity of sound.