How Does an Audiologist Help You Select Ear Protection?
Ear protection is vital for anyone who is frequently in a loud space. For example, if you are a machine operator in a noisy warehouse or work behind a bar in a nightclub, you will be frequently exposed to noise over 85 decibels. You might also like to choose ear protection if you regularly go on nights out or if you are uncomfortable in loud environments.
Wearing ear protection might feel like over-doing it but the reality is that if you are exposed to a lot of loud noise, you should protect your ears to prevent hearing loss. There are several different types of hearing protection and an audiologist will be able to help you select the right protection for your needs and particular circumstances.
What are the circumstances?
Knowing why you need the ear protection will help your audiologist advise you on which type is best. If you are around machinery, for example, you would need to reduce the loud noise but may also wish to amplify low-level noises. On the other hand, if you are playing music as a DJ or band, you will still need to be able to hear what is going on without damaging your hearing. In this case, an in-ear monitor would be better than standard earplugs.
Another option is to get custom fit earmolds, designed to perfectly plug your ears. This option is ideal for light sleepers who want to reduce noise overnight but is also great for hearing protection on the go. Many custom earmolds are completely transparent, no one else will notice that you are wearing them.
The importance of a perfect fit
There are plenty of off-the-shelf products like earmuffs and plugs you can buy but if you are exposed to loud noise a lot, then you will need substantially better protection. Ensuring that in-ear protection fits perfectly is crucial to reducing the sound you are exposed to and any leakage will reduce the effectiveness of the protection.
Your audiologist will take a mold of your ear to ensure that whichever model you choose, you get a perfect fit. Regardless of whether you are choosing a simple earplug or a more complex electronic protector that can amplify softer sounds, you will only get your money’s worth if the fit is correct.
Regular hearing tests
Hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise is unfortunately very common because many people don’t take the risk seriously enough. But even with excellent hearing protection, it is important that you have regular hearing checks with your audiologist to ensure that your hearing is not diminishing.
If you are exposed to loud noise at work, it is likely that your employer will recommend regular trips to the audiologist, but even if this is not provided, it is worth doing yourself. There are a significant number of workers claiming compensation for hearing loss each year and given how simple hearing protection is, everyone should be working to reduce this amount.
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