In this blog post, we will discuss why it is important to wear hearing protectors and how they can help protect your hearing. As hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in the United States. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about a Fifth of American adults report some degree of hearing loss.
That number is only going to increase as our population ages. The good news is that hearing loss can often be prevented by wearing hearing protection devices.
What Are Hearing Protection Devices?
Let us start with the basics, what are hearing protection devices? Hearing protection devices or HPDs are devices that one wears to help protect your hearing from loud noises when you can’t protect yourself from the noise exposure.
How Do Hearing Protectors Work?
Hearing protection devices work by reducing the amount of noise that can reach your ear drum. When exposed to loud noises, the tiny hair cells in your inner ear can be damaged.
This damage can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). By wearing HPDs, you can help reduce the amount of noise that reaches your inner ear and protect your hearing.
What Sound Is Too Loud?
You might be wondering, how do I know if a sound is too loud? The answer is that it depends on how long you are exposed to the noise and how loud the noise is.
Exposure to any noise over 85 decibels (dB) can cause hearing loss. The louder the noise, the shorter the amount of time you can be exposed to it before it causes damage.
For example, exposure to noise at 85 dB for eight hours can cause as much damage as exposure to noise at 100 dB for only 15 minutes.
Types Of Hearing Damage
There are two types of damage, long-term damage, and instantaneous damage. Long-term damage as the name suggests is damage that builds up over time. The damage is typically caused by exposure to unexpected loud noises over 85 dB for extended periods.
On the other hand, instantaneous damage is caused by exposure to very loud noise, usually over 140 dB. This type of damage can occur even if you are only exposed to the noise for a short period.
Why It Is Important To Wear Hearing Protection Devices?
There are a few reasons why it is important to use a hearing protector. The first reason is that wearing hearing protection devices can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when exposure to loud noise damages the hair cells in your inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for sending sound signals to your brain.
Damaged hairs cannot send these signals as effectively, which leads to hearing loss. Wearing HPDs can help reduce the amount of noise that gets to your inner ear and help prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
The second reason why it is important to wear hearing protection devices is that they can help you hear better in noisy environments.
If you are in a situation where there is a lot of background noise, it can be difficult to hear what someone is saying to you.
Wearing HPDs can help reduce the amount of background noise so that you can focus on the person who is speaking to you and understand what they are saying.
The third reason why it is important to wear hearing protection devices is that they can help protect your eardrums from damage.
Exposure to loud noises can cause your eardrums to rupture, which can lead to pain, infection, and hearing loss.
Wearing HPDs can help reduce the risk of eardrum damage by reducing the amount of noise that gets to your eardrums.
Types Of Hearing Protection
Now that we have covered why is it important to wear hearing protection devices, we move on to the different types of hearing protection devices.
Earplugs are small pre-molded or foam plugs that fit snugly into your ear canal. Earplugs are easy to insert and remove and can be worn for long periods.
Semi earplugs do not go into the ear like normal earplugs, instead, they sit at the entrance of the ear canal.
Earmuffs are larger devices that fit over your entire ear. Earmuffs can be more uncomfortable to wear than earplugs, but they provide better noise protection.
Noise-canceling headphones are headphones that use active noise cancellation to reduce the amount of background noise. Noise-canceling headphones can be expensive, but they are very effective at reducing background noise.
How To Choose The Right Hearing Protection Device?
Hearing protection you choose should be based on the type of noise you’ll be exposed to, length of time you’ll be exposed to it, and your personal preferences. Earplugs will be adequate if you’ll only be exposed to loud noise for a short period of time.
Earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones are preferable alternative if one is exposed to loud noise for an extended amount of time or if extra noise protection is required.
It is also important to make sure that the hearing protection devices fit properly. If they do not fit properly, they will not work as well and may even cause more damage to your ears.
How Much Do They Cost?
Hearing protection devices can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. The price will depend on the type of hearing protection device, the brand, and where you purchase it.
Hearing protection devices, or HPDs, are important for people who work in loud environments or spend time around loud noises. Long-term exposure can damage ears, these devices help protect them from long-term exposure.
There are various types of HPDs available on the market. So it is important to find the right type for you and ensure that you wear them properly.
Protecting your hearing is an important part of maintaining your overall health and well-being. So make sure you take steps to safeguard your hearing.