Choosing the Right Hearing Protection for Your Activity

smiling gentleman wearing professional hearing protection

Your ears are sensitive to sounds above 70dBs. Prolonged or short burst exposure to high volumes can cause irreparable damage. Therefore, it is essential that you protect your ears at all times when necessary.

There are many reasons why you can lose your hearing. But almost all hearing loss is preventable by taking simple actions to look after your ears. Fortunately, protecting your ears is relatively simple, cheap, and effective. Additionally, your employer must provide ear safety gear.

How Your Ears are Damaged

Hearing loss can result from injury, genetics, or contracting illnesses like Meniere’s disease. However, ear damage can also be the result of exposure to loud sounds. Anything above 70 dB is considered dangerous by hearing experts since it can have harmful effects on your ears. The pressure changes can damage the sensitive hairs inside your ears that convert the energy of sound waves into electrical signals. These hairs are connected to the auditory nerve, which is also very sensitive. As a result, your brain cannot make out the sound correctly.

Activities that are Harmful

You expose your ears to harmful noise levels on a daily basis. Anything over 70dBs is harmful, and many things in everyday life are louder than this. For instance, walking down a busy street with heavy traffic, eating in a busy restaurant, or going to a bar. Unfortunately, any of these are often far greater than safe levels. Additionally, your hobbies and lifestyle might also contribute to ear damage. Common examples include target shooting, playing a musical instrument (especially in a band), or playing video games with headphones. Fortunately, it’s easy to protect your ears.

Protecting Your Ears

Most of the time, it cannot be helped when you expose your ears to hurtful noise. For instance, you can’t ask everyone in a bar to be quiet. However, you can take measures to protect your ears as best you can. Simple lifestyle adjustments can have a significant impact on your ear health. Using auto volume safety features on electronic devices and headphones will minimize exposure. However, there are times when you need specific ear protection for the activity you are doing.

Examples of Hearing Protection

You could expose your ears to deafening sounds that will damage them over time. For example, your job might require you to be around heavy machinery. Or perhaps you play in an orchestra. Whatever it is, there are different types of protection depending on the activity:

  • Ear defenders: these are heavy-duty with electronic speakers that can adjust the volume. These are often used on construction sites and when around heavy machinery.
  • Semi-insert earplugs: Offer basic protection when around loud sounds temporarily. Worn with a band that comfortably pushes them into the outer ear to reduce impact slightly.
  • Noise-canceling headphones: Designed to reduce external sound, so they have a lower impact on music quality. Therefore, you can turn down the volume to a safer level.
  • Noise isolating earbuds: Similar to noise-canceling headphones but not as effective. However, they can reduce external sounds by up to 30dBs since they act like earplugs.
  • Full-insert earplugs offer the best protection next to ear defenders and are disposable. They reduce the impact of sounds by up to 35dBs.

Whatever your activity, there is ear protection available, and there’s more than just inserting some earplugs. For example, you don’t have to sacrifice your musical experience. Noise-canceling headphones block out environmental sounds, so you can turn the volume down.

The Benefits of Protecting Your Ears

Like any other part of your body, protecting your ears is essential for overall health. As you age, your ears might become less effective. But it’s not a guarantee. Only a third of those with hearing loss are over 65. So, you need to protect your ears whatever your age. Hearing helps you locate sounds and therefore plays a more vital role. Sound location means you can hear for incoming danger, such as an oncoming vehicle or gunfire, and move away from it. Additionally, your ears are required for balance and contribute to issues like vertigo or dizziness if damaged.

How Valley Hearing Center Can HelpĀ  You can expose your ears to harmful sounds on a daily basis. Therefore, ear protection becomes necessary. Everyday activities such as listening to music, doing your hobby, or even eating dinner can immerse you in damaging levels of noise. And over time, this noise can damage your ears, causing hearing loss. But don’t worry, because Valley Hearing Center is here to help. You can reach our team by calling 831-240-4162.