What are the best earplugs for hearing protection?

We all need to make an effort to protect our hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss impacts millions of people all around the world. This happens when someone is either exposed to one extremely loud noise or they are constantly exposed to loud noises over a period. 

The best way to protect yourself from this type of hearing loss is by investing in hearing protection. There are a lot of different earplugs on the market for noise reduction. With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the different factors that you should consider when you are trying to find the best earplugs for your requirements.

Who should wear earplugs for noise reduction?

Earplugs for noise protection can sometimes be referred to as sound plugs. They need to be worn when you are being exposed to loud noises, such as loud music, motorbikes, sporting events, explosives, aircraft, gunfire, lawn equipment, power tools and machinery. 

If a sound is higher than 85 dB, this means there is the potential for it to result in noise-induced hearing loss. Earplug use is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for any worker that is exposed to loud noises. However, earplugs should also be utilized by those engaging in recreational activities that are loud as well. 

So, who should wear earplugs?

  • Anyone who is using machinery for recreational or home use, lawn equipment, or power tools
  • Military personnel who are exposed to explosives and/or gunfire
  • Those attending loud sporting events, such as motocross or NASCAR
  • Workers who are exposed to harmful levels of noise, as per OSHA recommendations

Make sure your earplugs fit you correctly

One of the most important factors you need to consider is the fit of the earplugs. They must fit correctly, and they need to be worn properly to ensure that they are able to do their job. If you are trying to get along with an earplug that does not fit properly or is of poor quality, you are not going to be getting the protection you need. In fact, you could be doing more harm than good!

How effective are the earplugs?

The effectiveness of any type of earmuff or earplug protection for hearing will be specified by a Noise Reduction Rating, which you will often see abbreviated to NRR. The standard range for noise protection is anywhere from 15 to 35 dB of sound attenuation. The higher the NRR is, the greater the noise attenuation it supplies, so long that it fits in your ear properly! 

Different types of earplugs

There are many different types of earplugs to choose from as well, and so this is something that you need to consider. There are disposable earplugs, for example, which represent the least expensive option out of all of those that are available. These sorts of earplugs are suitable if you are searching for something to use occasionally only. However, if you are going to be wearing earplugs on a regular basis, it is advisable to look for a pair that is reusable instead. With disposable earplugs, they will be discarded after each use. They tend to be made from a foam material. 

So, let’s take at reusable earplugs in a bit of further detail. These earplugs can be used again and again. You simply need to make sure you clean them properly after every use and then you will be able to wear them again. You can find both non-corded and corded earplugs, as well as an accompanying carrying case.

Another option to consider is custom earplugs. These earplugs are the most efficient on the market when it comes to blocking out sounds that can be harmful to your hearing. These sorts of earplugs are beneficial if you work in an environment that is noisy and you need to ensure that your ears are fully protected. 

Finally, some people prefer to use earmuffs instead of earplugs. This is because they do not like the way that earplugs fit inside of their ears. Plus, greater noise attenuation can sometimes be provided with earmuffs when compared with earplugs, so it is worth keeping this in mind.

Contact us at Salyer Hearing Center

If you are looking for an experienced audiologist who can make sure you get the right hearing protection for you, you won’t be disappointed with Salyer Hearing Center. Contact us today at Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599 and Murphy: 828-835-1014