Custom Hearing Protection
Hearing loss caused by exposure to excess noise is preventable by protecting your hearing when around loud sounds. The professionals at Hearing Health USA are experts in providing custom hearing protection for musicians, hunters, and worked-related noise situations. We partner with the leading custom earmold laboratories to offer products including musician filtered earplugs, in-ear monitor systems, custom earbuds, sleep plugs, and custom electronic shooter plugs.
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In the course of everyday life, we are exposed to many different kinds of sounds, from electronics, appliances or even traffic, which are generally at safe levels and will not affect or damage our hearing. However, sounds can be harmful when they are loud even for a brief time, particularly if they are loud and long lasting. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is repeated exposure to loud noises, which is more commonly referred to as Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).
Professionals generally define loud noises as those exceeding a decibel level of 85, which is the level of noise generated from heavy city traffic. For further reference, normal conversation is generally at 60 decibels, motorcycles operate at 95 decibels and sirens are typically at 120 decibels. Many people are regularly exposed to loud noises in their work environment (ie. construction, manufacturing jobs, woodworking shops, lawn maintenance) or in recreation. Riding a motorcycle, attending concerts, hunting or even attending sporting events increase the risk for noise-induced hearing loss, which can be permanent and irreparable.
Exposure to loud sounds can damage sensitive structures in the inner ear, in particular, the hair cells, which are sensory cells, which bend with the sound waves as it moves through the ear canal. Once these hair cells are damaged and die, they do not grow back. Damage from noise exposure is usually gradual, and therefore may not be noticeable for some time, yet it can also be immediate. The damage from NIHL in combination with aging can cause hearing loss severe enough to require the use of hearing aids. In more severe cases, repeated exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent damage that neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct.
Hearing protection is the best form of prevention for NIHL, with the best kind depending on lifestyle needs. There are many types of custom molded earplugs available for individuals of any age, suited for any work or recreational situation. Custom molded earplugs have several advantages over generic earplugs, in particular the superior comfort provided from a custom fit, even when worn for long durations. There are also several different filters available to accommodate the level of sound protection needed, designed to retain accurate frequency response, for clear, natural sounds at a reduced volume.
Hearing loss from loud noises affects quality of life in many ways, reducing the ability to communicate, hear high frequencies and understand speech. Individuals are exposed to harmful noises at any age, and professionals consider our youth at particular risk due to the common practice of listening to music through headphones at harmful levels. NIHL is entirely preventable.
Musician Monitors & Custom Earbuds
Music, by definition, is a magical sound, created and played for the enjoyment in many different variations. Sadly, music is also one of the leading causes of noise induced hearing loss, (NIHL), as it is often played and enjoyed at decibel levels harmful to our hearing. This not only pertains to concerts, as experts regularly express concern over excessive earbud and earphone use among our youth, listening to music at dangerous noise levels. In fact, rates of NIHL in teens have risen from 15% to 20% over the past 25 years, coinciding with increase in ownership of personal music devices.
Musicians, whether professional or amateur (or recreational) are at particularly high risk for suffering from noise induced hearing loss; in particular stage performers regularly exposed to amplifiers and ear monitors that are turned up to harmful levels, to hear above the music. Distance from the source of sound and the length of time one is exposed to the sound are important factors in the risk of developing NIHL; obviously musicians are at a disadvantage in both areas.Fortunately, there are customizable solutions specifically tailored towards musicians, to effectively protect their ears and hearing without compromising their craft. In order to play and perform their best, musicians need to hear with maximum precision. Inside the ear musician’s monitors replace the traditional wedge shaped monitors, delivering precise, isolated sound delivered directly to you.
Custom fit in-the-ear monitors offer superior protection by providing directly delivered, isolated sound, allowing more effective sound monitoring at much lower volume levels. The superior fit and sound quality that custom in-ear monitors allow musicians to perform their best while protecting their hearing from damage caused by prolonged exposure to loudspeakers. The monitors are fitted into the highest quality silicone earmolds, providing a superior acoustic seal and maximum comfort for extended periods of time. Hearing protection is invaluable to the musician’s most important sensory resource.
Custom fit earbuds are an ideal solution for music lovers of all ages, as an alternative to noise cancelling headphones. Custom fit earbuds are more effective than standard earbuds at blocking out background noise, allowing for full enjoyment of music at lower volume levels. They also provide superior comfort and a more secure fit, enhancing the music experience. Custom earplugs are also a wise investment for music lover that regularly enjoy live music performances.
To learn more about custom hearing protection that enhances musical performance and enjoyment, visit a Hearing Health USA clinic to explore solutions.
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss due to exposure to loud music please schedule an online hearing assessment. While not a full exam, it can help determine the need for further medical evaluation.