If you work in an environment with regular noise exposure, you need to consider investing in hearing protection to prevent permanent hearing loss. The good news is there’s a wide variety of options and styles, but not all hearing protection is created equal.
Let’s compare quick-fix foam earplugs and custom molds so you can decide what’s best for you.
Foam earplugs are a great choice for one-time use, especially if you’re visiting a noisy location. Consider all the pros and cons before deciding to purchase.
- Cheapest style of ear protection
- Available at most stores
- Suitable option for one-time use
- One-size fits all
- Only meant for one-time use
- One size may be too big or too small
- Must be properly inserted to seal properly
- The foam material can irritate ear canals
- Purchases can add up with long-term use
Custom Fit Earplugs
As the name implies, custom-fit earplugs are designed specifically for your ears. Most audiologists will take an impression of a patient’s ear before creating the mold for your earplugs. Custom earpieces are more of an investment, so consider the following:
- Custom molds create a fitted seal to protect your ear canal
- Sound is still permitted, so your ears don’t feel “plugged”
- Earplugs can be adjusted if the fit isn’t correct
- Comfortable material eliminates irritation in the ear canal
For those regularly exposed to potentially dangerous noise levels, like construction workers, musicians or farmers, custom earplugs will save you money in the long run. You also won’t have to worry about improper application or irritation.
Other Hearing Protection Options
Wax balls: This is the cheapest type of hearing protection next to foam earplugs. Wax balls are intended for single-use and will completely seal off your ear canal.
Earmuffs: These devices sit over the ears and come in various styles. Earmuffs block out ambient noise without invading the ear canal but can irritate the skin around your ears.
If you have questions about hearing protection and what kind is right for you, contact Hearing Associates. We have the services and hearing devices you need to protect your hearing and prevent further damage.