Custom Hearing Protection for Musicians, Swimmers, Shooters, and More
Hearing loss may be permanent and irreversible, but it is preventable. It is difficult to protect your hearing against the loss associated with aging or genetics, but we can help prevent damage to your hearing due to noise exposure.
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the most common causes of permanent hearing loss. This type of hearing loss involves frequent or repeated exposure to dangerous noise levels, or exposure to a single acoustic trauma, such as an explosion (210 dB+).
If you are frequently exposed to loud noise at work, while you are doing chores around the house, or when you are enjoying leisure activities and hobbies, you should ask yourself, “Is there a place to find custom hearing protection near me?”
Audiology Associates Inc. has you covered with custom hearing protection that reduce your risk of developing NIHL, regardless of where and how you are exposed to dangerous levels of noise.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Noise intensity levels are measured in decibel (dB) units. Sounds below 85 dB are considered safe without hearing protection. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), have a recommended exposure limit to 85 dB over an eight-hour period. If someone is exposed to noise levels that exceed the recommended exposure without hearing protection, then they are at risk for developing hearing loss.
When sounds become louder than 85 dB, the exposure time must be reduced. For every increase in intensity of 3 dB above 85 dB, the exposure time is cut in half. The recommended exposure times are below:
- 88 dB for 4 hours
- 91 dB for 2 hours
- 94 dB for 1 hour
- 97 dB for 30 minutes
- 100 dB for 15 minutes
- 103 dB for 7.5 minutes
- 106 dB for 3.75 minutes
- 109 dB for 1.87 minutes
Common, everyday sounds can be loud and exceed 95 dB, including bulldozers, ambulance sirens, chain saws, bars, night clubs, and sporting events. Use of firearms can reach intensity levels greater than 145 dB. Even listening to music on headphones can result in dangerous noise exposure. It is important to implement safe listening practices to protect hearing from daily noise sources.
Frequently Asked Questions about Custom
Q. When is hearing protection required or when should hearing protection be worn?
Q. What is the best type of hearing protection?
A. For secure fit and comfort, as well as the ability to change filters to accommodate noise levels during different activities, custom hearing protection provides the best solution.
Q. What is the best hearing protection for hunting and shooting?
A. The best hearing protection for hunting and shooting should filter firearm discharges at or in excess of 145 dB, while allowing the user to retain situational awareness and hear the sounds in their environment.
Q. Should I wear hearing protection when mowing or cutting the grass?
A. Yes, gas powered lawn mowers product intensity levels of 90 dB. Hearing protection should always be worn when using a lawn mower for two hours or longer.
Q. What does a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) mean for hearing protection?
A. NRR is a measure of the effectiveness of the hearing protective device to reduce noise levels. The NRR values range from 0-30, where the higher number indicates greater noise reduction.
Q. What do musicians earplugs do?
A. Musicians earplugs provide filtering of loud music without distorting the tone and quality, which allows for music appreciation. In-ear monitors are available for musicians and performers. Some versions can also include music monitoring, which eliminates the need for on-stage monitors.
Q. Are custom earplugs covered by insurance?
A. Earplugs are not covered by insurance, but can be covered by a Health Savings Account (HSA).
Benefits of Custom Hearing Protection
Custom earplugs are based on impressions of the ears, which result in a secure and comfortable fit. Each type of custom hearing protection provides additional benefits related to their specific use, including:
- Accurate frequency response, allowing for full range of sounds, but at a reduced volume
- Venting, which involves letting sound to pass both ways so your voice will not reverberate inside your ears
- Precision-engineered filters that provide measurable protection with clear and natural sound
- Medical-grade silicone material, allowing for extended wear time
- Replaceable sound filters, allowing for the selection of the level of sound protection necessary for a variety of activities and situations
Custom Hearing Protection at All Maryland and DC Locations
- Annapolis, MD
- Baltimore (Wilkens Ave.), MD
- Carney, MD
- Easton, MD
- Ellicott City, MD
- Fairhaven, MD
- Glen Burnie, MD
- Lutherville, MD
- Parkville, MD
- Timonium, MD
- NW Washington DC
- New Mexico Avenue DC
Audiology Associates Inc. offers various hearing protection devices and styles to fit your unique needs, including:
- Shooting and hunting
- Construction and industrial equipment
- Use of lawn and garden tools, chainsaws, motorcycles, and snowmobiles
- Concerts and sporting events
- Headphones for musicians and for listening to music through your personal device(s)
- Custom molded earplugs for swimmers (not for NIHL, but to prevent ear infections caused by swimming (“swimmer’s ear”))
Ask about Custom Hearing Protection from Audiology Associates
If being able to hear better for as long as possible without sacrificing the activities and independent lifestyle is important to you, then you need to take care of your ears, protecting them from noise-induced hearing loss in order to avoid ongoing hearing challenges brought on by work, recreational activities, and lifestyle choices.
Audiology Associates makes it possible to protect your hearing with custom earplugs and hearing protection for your active lifestyle. Just use the adjacent form to learn more about the solutions we have available.