Are you thinking about investing in ear protection? Ear protection can prevent hearing loss and reduce the chances that your ears will be damaged in a range of different situations. You can speak to your audiologist for more information about ear protection. For now, though, let’s explore some of the frequently asked questions about ear protection.

How many different types are there?

There are several types of ear protection that you need to be aware of and that you may want to think about using. You should start by looking at ear plugs, the most popular form of ear protection. They are quick, easy and completely discreet by fitting into the ear canal. Once inside, the foam expands, filling the ear and blocking any air holes. This prevents the noise escaping through the sides and causing any issues. It is best suited for blocking out low levels of sound or muffling higher volumes of noise. Be aware, they may not be as effective against noise at higher decibels.

You can also think about using ear muffs. Earmuffs cover the ear completely and are ideal for commercial purposes. You might even find that some companies force employees to wear them to avoid potential lawsuits. Earmuffs must be kept in good condition to remain effective. If they are cracked or don’t fit properly, they won’t be quite as effective at blocking the noise. If the ear muffs do not provide a tight seal over the ear, you will still be exposed to the loud noise.

As well as this, there are forms of ear protection that will block certain frequencies of noise. This is great as it will allow you to still hear a certain source of sound clearly while taking away most of the volume. It can be very beneficial in certain situations.

When do I need ear protection?

You should speak to an audiologist about ear protection if you are worried that your hearing could be damaged due to your lifestyle or work environment. If you are working in an environment where you will constantly be exposed to loud noises, your employer should provide you with the right level of protection. You will be at risk if you are constantly forced to be around loud noises. If you spend your entire life in an environment with heavy noise, you are 60 percent likely to develop hearing loss.

Your lifestyle may also mean that you need ear protection. An audiologist will recommend that you use it if you occasionally subject yourself to high volumes of noise. The typical example would be a music concert. Going to just one concert a year will leave you with a loud ringing in your ears. Eventually, this may not go away.

Is it just used for avoiding hearing loss?

No, ear protection will also help ensure that you do not develop tinnitus. Tinnitus causes you to hear noises that aren’t there, such as whooshing, buzzing, whistling and more. While not life-threatening, this will quickly become irritating, impacting your quality of life and perhaps even keeping you up through the night.