Why Custom Hearing Protection is Important
Noise levels vary — quiet, comfortable, annoying, even damaging to your hearing. It’s important to understand which noise levels are harmful before you expose yourself to them so you know when you’ll need to protect your ears. Some sounds, such as gunshots or jet engines, are so loud they’re painful. In these cases, it’s obvious that your hearing is being damaged because you can actually feel the damage happening. But in many cases, noise levels that you perceive as merely annoying or difficult to hear speech in may actually be permanently damaging your hearing.
Central Florida Audiology offers custom-molded earplugs that offer you comfort and protection against damaging noise levels. These aren’t your standard, generic earplugs —our hearing protection is custom fit to the unique contours of your ears, so your earplugs are snug and comfortable.
Take a look below to find the earplugs that you need for your next activity.
Custom In-ear Music Monitors and Music Monitor Impressions
Stage performers are routinely exposed to hearing damage from both amplifiers and stage monitors, which must be turned up to potentially harmful levels so they can be heard above the music. In-ear monitoring was brought to the forefront as a way to eliminate feedback from conventional stage monitors typically located on stage in front of the musicians and in close proximity to their microphones. By placing high-fidelity miniature speakers in custom earmolds, stage monitors could be eliminated, allowing the vocal microphones to be turned louder without the risk of feedback. Custom inside-the-ear musician’s monitors replace traditional wedge monitors with precise, isolated sound delivered directly to you, so you can stay in tune and perform your best.
Professional Hearing Service can create music monitor impressions for people who would like to order custom music monitors. You can take the impressions with you and order your custom in-ear monitors on your own, or we can order them for you from manufacturers such as ACS, Etymotic Research, JH Audio, 64 Audio, and many others.
Types of Custom Hearing Protection:
Musician Custom Molds and Earplugs
Music of all types can take its toll on your hearing if it’s too loud — and musicians know this all too well. A 2014 study found that musicians — particularly classical or orchestral musicians — are four times more likely to experience a hearing loss and 57% more likely to experience tinnitus compared to the general population. Whether it’s for a career, a school band, or a hobby, protecting your ears against noise-induced hearing loss is a necessity for musicians.
Our musicians’ earplugs are attenuated to accurately replicate sounds while preserving their original fidelity. Sound quality is clearer and more natural, and listening fatigue because of noise exposure is reduced. Whether you use professional in-ear monitors or earplugs, a tight sound seal is paramount to preventing sound leakage that can negatively affect your performance — and that’s the kind of seal you can only get with custom earmolds.
Central Florida Audiology offers several filter options from Etymotic Research that will dampen sounds at varying decibels, with ER-9, ER-15, and ER-25 protections available.
Hunting and Shooting Protection
Starkey Sound Gear provides digital hearing protection for hunters and shooters, police and military personnel, and industrial workers. SoundGear earplugs instantly dampen noise levels that exceed 95 dB, making them useful for a variety of situations in which communication is necessary but difficult with standard earplugs.
Anyone who uses power tools or guns on a regular basis is putting their hearing at risk through two different avenues. Manufacturing and industry-related hearing loss tends to occur over a long period of time, because many work zones feature loud noises that are consistently above 85 dB (the point at which loud noise begins to damage hearing), whereas firearms typically cause pain and instantaneous hearing damage because they sound off at 140 dB or more.
SoundGear is convenient to carry and comfortable to wear, and it protects your ears from the most dangerous noises while enhancing communication at lower volume levels. We also work with Electronic Shooter’s Protection (ESP) to provide hearing protection specifically for hunters and shooters. Contact our practice today to learn more about how digital hearing protection can benefit your life.
If you use your phone, MP3 player, or tablet to listen to music, you probably know firsthand how uncomfortable those small, hard earbuds can be — not to mention how often they fall out of your ear when you move around too much. Even if they fit well enough to stay in your ears, they do a poor job of isolating sound in your ear, which means one of two things: Your listening experience is interrupted by outside environmental noise, or you must turn up the volume to an uncomfortable level so you can better hear what you’re listening to.
When the volume gets cranked up on one of these music devices to its maximum, it can reach a very harmful 102 dB, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. Since our custom-fit earbuds are molded to the specific contours of your inner ear, they fit snuggly so you can listen at a comfortable volume that’s safe for your ears.
Motorcycle Hearing Protection
Motorcycle riders’ ears are under a constant assault by noise. The roar of the engine alone from the seat of your bike is enough to damage your hearing, but riders also face high noise levels from other vehicles, emergency sirens, honking horns, and heavy traffic. And certain types of helmets make wind noise especially uncomfortable, which swirls in your ears and creates an unpleasant turbulence.
The truth is that many ignore hearing protection because they assume earplugs would be a danger while they’re on the road. That may be true for more invasive forms of hearing protection, but our motorcycle earplugs are designed to be worn comfortably under your helmet while offering greater environmental awareness and a safer riding experience than other hearing protection.