According to current WHO figures we frequently put our hearing at risk through exposure to noise. In that way around 1.1 billion people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. What many do not know is that noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible and does not just affect older people. But luckily there are many easy and inexpensive ways to protect your hearing:
Hearing protection that closes off the auditory canal
This kind of hearing protection includes various types of ear plugs, ear plugs with frames, wadding and ear molds.
Expanding foam ear plugs
Expanding foam ear plugs are an economical way of protecting your hearing. They can be easily inserted and removed at all times. For optimal sound insulation you should roll and compress the tapered end of the ear plugs with your fingers before inserting them into your ear canal.
One day to one week
Pre shaped ear plugs
Pre shaped ear plugs are intended for repeated use and can be inserted without prior shaping, furthermore they are available for different ear canal dimensions, and with flanges of different softness levels.
One week to several months
Custom ear molds
Custom ear molds are individually fitted for each ear canal. Special holes allow optional filters to be inserted and replaced, which means that each ear mold can be modified to suit the required or mandatory level of sound insulation.
Several years (with regular inspections)
Ear plugs with frames
Ear plugs with frames consist of ready-shaped plugs attached to a frame. Ear plugs with frames are particularly suited where the ear protection has to be frequently removed and replaced.
If they are not worn correctly, the minimum sound insulation level is not reached, so ear plugs with frames should not be used at noise levels above 90 dB.
1 month to 1 year
Ear covering protection
This type of hearing protection is not inserted into the ear, but sits on the ear in the same way as headphones do.
Capsule ear protection
When hearing protection that fits inside the ear cannot be worn because the ear canal is too narrow or too wide, ear protection capsules are recommended. These "headphones”, “ear muffs", or “ear defenders” are very convenient, even in situations when protection has to be frequently removed and replaced because the noise occurs repeatedly but is only of short duration.
3-4 years of regular use
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