Custom Hearing Protection

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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As people who are looking for custom hearing protection know, wading through the pile of available options can be tedious, and lead to many questions. Are ear plugs or ear muffs more effective? How do decibels work? What is tinnitus? How much ear hearing protection do I need?

Questions Concerning Custom Hearing Protection

Most of your questions can be answered by doing a little online research or by speaking directly to an audiologist. In general, there are two main concerns when purchasing some kind of custom hearing protection. "How much noise reduction do I need," and "Is it comfortable?"

Though there is some variance in how much noise reduction specific applications will require, in general, more is better. Exposure to sounds over 100 dB can damage your hearing permanently after only 2 hours, so in terms of volume, lower is always better. Most kinds of hearing protection device lower sound by 20-35 dB.

The comfort level of a product is a little more personal. The most comfortable products are usually those that are custom molded to your ear canal, then cast in silicone. However, the process of forming a custom mold can be a little costly. In general, ear plugs made of softer materials such as cotton or lanolin can be nearly as comfortable at a fraction of the cost.

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