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Hearing loss may be difficult to accept and many people do not know where to begin. Our team of ENT physicians and audiologists at Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Wisconsin will work close with you to determine what your hearing needs are.

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Do Earplugs Work?

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three sets of orange and yellow earplugs for hearing protection

According to statistics released by CDC, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a condition that affects over 17% of adults around the world. Protecting our hearing has never been as important as it is today – but can we do so with earplugs? Earplugs do work, but since each environment has a different noise level, you must find the right earplugs for your needs.  

Your audiologist at Audiology and Hearing Aid Center will be able to help you determine what the right type of hearing protection devices for your needs is – but you can get an overview of the best types of earplugs below. 

How do earplugs work?

Earplugs are simple devices that can be used in a variety of settings. You can also use them for a wide variety of activities, during your sleep or while you are at work. However, if you are looking to use earplugs to protect your hearing, it is crucial that you pick an adequate model for your needs. Indeed, with so many varieties on the market, not all of them will work in the same way or protect your hearing to the right degree. 

How to pick earplugs for hearing protection

Consulting an audiologist is important to ensure that a certain type of earplugs can effectively protect your hearing in a certain environment. However, certain indicators can tell you whether the earplugs you are buying can be effective in protecting your hearing. 

These factors include:

  • Earplugs that are easy to clean can be effective in protecting your hearing and preventing dangerous infections. 
  • You should ensure that earplugs or earmuffs are certified and comply with the relevant law requirements in loud work environments. 
  • Understanding the noise level in your environment can offer you guidelines on how effective you need your earplugs to be. 

The best earplugs to protect your hearing

As we have seen, not all earplugs work in the same way. Some of them are an excellent option for hearing protection in noisy work environments, while other types of earplugs are more suitable to increase sleep quality. In the sections below, you can find out when to use the different types of plugs for maxim protection. 

Pre-molded plugs: perfect for improving sleep quality

Pre-molded earplugs are among the most affordable options if you are looking to protect your hearing in an environment that is not extremely noisy. These earplugs are usually made of durable materials such as silicone or rubber, they come in one size and they are connected with a cord for ease of use. 

Since they are soft, snug and comfortable, they are a great option if you wish to sleep in noisy environments. 

Earmuffs: high-quality PPE for work environments

Earmuffs are a type of hearing protection device that is first outside the ear, completely sealing it from outside noises. Earmuffs are considered to be among the most effective types of hearing protection equipment, and they can be safely used by individuals who spend many hours in a noisy environment. 

Certain types of earmuffs are also certified and comply with law requirements, making them suitable for use in work environments where the noise level is increased by machinery and loud bangs. 

Earmuffs are highly versatile and, while some types are more visible, you can also find more discrete models to use at any time. With some high-tech, noise-canceling earmuffs, you can also control the level of background noise.

Expandable foam plugs for personalized protection

Expandable foam plugs are the most common type of non-reusable earplugs. They come in just one size, and the material used in their construction will expand once you have fitted the plug into your ear. 

These plugs are extremely effective in reducing noise because they will expand to fit the shape of your ear perfectly. Therefore, they will completely seal the ear canal and offer you a comfortable solution. They are preferred by individuals who are required to use ear protection for several hours due to their jobs or activities.

Since they are not reusable, they might not be the most environmentally sustainable option, but they allow you to minimize the risk of infection or other ear problems. They can be safely used in dirty or dusty environments. 

Discover the best hearing protection for your needs at the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center

When it comes down to selecting the right type of hearing protection for your situation, you should consider speaking to an audiologist. Indeed, not all environments are subjected to the same noise level and picking the wrong type of earplugs might leave your hearing without the necessary protection. 

While earplugs do work, you should find the right type for your needs by visiting us at Audiology and Hearing Aid Center or calling us today at 920-969-1768.


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