4 Ways Earplugs Help Prevent Hearing Loss
When you can’t avoid being around loud noises, earplugs are the next best thing. There are many ways earplugs can help prevent hearing loss. Read ahead to learn just a few!
Here at Beltone, we love earplugs about as much as we love hearing aids. Why? Earplugs give people a lot of control over their hearing health, and we like to see our users empowered!
1. Earplugs protect ears from damage caused by wind, cold weather and other harsh elements
If you spend a lot of time boating, skiing, snowboarding and bicycling, chances are you are putting your ears at risk as cool winds nip at your outer ears and swirl around into your inner ear and you may experience intense pain if you don’t cover up!
Earplugs help reduce some of the irritation your ears may experience after prolonged exposure to harsh elements, and on dry land, insulating earmuffs on the mountain should be enough to do the trick (and keep you warm at the same time).
2. Earplugs protect ears from damage caused by continuous exposure to water
Water in the ear can be irritating, or worse, lead to conditions known as swimmer’s ear or surfer’s ear (yes, they are different conditions). Earplugs made of silicone or wax are most appropriate in this case and need to fit snuggly to prevent water from getting inside the ear canal. Foam earplugs should be avoided in the water since they are more likely to fall out on impact.
3. Earplugs protect ears from damage caused by constant noise
In many occupations, hearing protection in the form of earplugs is now mandatory. One day on a noisy job site is not likely to amount to hearing loss, but after years of exposure to a noisy work environment can take a toll on your hearing. Earplugs help by muffling sounds and dulling the noise, so it doesn’t reach the inner ear at full force.
Foam earplugs are the most popular kind of earplugs and are usually made out of memory foam. They are intended for disposable use – making them hygienic – and are easy to use, effective and comfortable. But you need to make sure there is a seal when the plug is in the ear because if air can get in, so can sound!
4. Earplugs protect ears from damage caused by loud noises
Although Hollywood wouldn’t have you believe it, hearing a gunshot without wearing any type of hearing protection can do a lot of damage to your ears, temporarily diminishing your hearing capacity. If you frequent the shooting range on weekends, enjoy lots of rock concerts, or love a good fireworks show, earplugs will go a long way in preventing hearing loss, as even a small barrier is enough to dampen the intensity of loud noises.
There are many other applications for various types of earplugs. Musicians and TV personalities rely heavily on specialized flanged earplugs and in-ear monitors that allow them to hear themselves but not much else going on around them. This not only helps them perform better on the job, but also protects their hearing over time as it reduces their exposure to constant noise.
Special types of earplugs are also available to help people sleep better or to help reduce the pain some people experience in their ears when flying.
The style of earplug you choose is determined by the type of elements or auditory threats you want to protect yourself from. They range in how much of the ear they cover, and how far they are designed to fit inside the ear canal. A Beltone hearing care professional can help you sort out what style is ideal for you.
General tips about hearing protection:
No matter what your reasons are for adopting a pair of earplugs, always remember:
- Hearing protection is only effective if it is worn correctly and for the full duration it is recommended or required.
- In some cases, a combination of hearing protection methods will be recommended for providing an added layer of protection. Try a combination of earmuffs and earplugs in really loud situations.