COLORADO SPRINGS — In this Your Healthy Family we're following up on our story about hearing loss due to loud noise with the very best ways to avoid hearing loss if you are frequently exposed to loud noises.
Katie Williams, a doctor of audiology with Hearing Consultants in Colorado Springs explains, “It's important to remember that noise induced hearing loss is the one type of hearing loss that is 100% preventable.”
Katie says taking steps to protect your hearing can happen on many levels. “If hearing protection is not available then try to reduce the amount of time that you're exposed to that noise. You can also move away from the noise source, so if you're at a concert it's going to be much safer to be 50 yards away from the speakers then right up against the speakers.”
Hearing protection products can be very effective at protecting your ears, starting with the basic foam earplugs you can purchase at low cost at most drug stores, hardware stores and grocery stores.
Katie says, “Foam earplugs work great as long as they're inserted correctly. The directions on the package should walk you through how to compress them and stick them as deep as you comfortably can in your ear canal.”
Ear muffs that look like headphones are also very effective hearing protection product. Katie says for the most effective hearing protection, “The best thing you can do to protect your hearing is wearing earplugs and ear muffs together.”
If you want to take your hearing protection next level in terms of convenience and technology you can have ear plugs made that are custom molded to your ear.
Katie says, “We make custom fit hearing protection and the noise-reduction rating is similar to what you can get with foam earplugs. For some people it's nice to have the convenience of a silicone plug that you pop in and you can reuse over and over.”
Katie says two groups who they see the most, seeking custom make hearing protection are hunters and musicians. “The important thing is to make it convenient for hunters because when they see that animal that they want, they're not going to dig in their pocket for their foam earplugs, or even maybe they're their custom fit silicone earplugs. I would recommend ear muffs that you have around your neck, and when you see your opportunity put them on and shoot your gun.”
Hunters who opt for a custom ear mold will find they can bring the best of both worlds together in terms of hearing and protecting the ears.
Katie says, “We also make custom fit hearing protection for hunting which is an electronic system. You can wear all the time, and your ear plugs will amplify your environment, so you can hear the footsteps of the animals and what not and as soon as the gun fires there's a system that compresses that sound instantly to protect your hearing.”
The same technology is used for musicians when it comes to custom ear molds. “We see a lot of hearing loss with musicians who can often suffer from ringing in the ears and even a sensitivity to sound over time. Musicians generally don’t want to wear hearing protection because it can distort how music sounds. We make custom fit electronic musicians plugs and they dampen sound across the board, without distorting any sounds at all. The music still sounds really natural, but it doesn't distort any of the base, or the treble at all.”
If you're interested in looking into custom ear molds, or custom molded monitors give the folks at Hearing Consultants in Colorado Springs and they will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Hearing Consultants is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family