If you want to find out more about ear protection, what it is and why it matters so much, you’re in the right place. We’re going to discuss those things and more as part of this guide. All of the questions you’ve always had about ear protection and its usefulness will be answered here.
Whether this is an issue you’ve discussed with an audiologist or something you’re simply looking to find out more about, all you have to do is read on and find the answers to the most pressing questions regarding ear protection.
What Does Ear Protection Do?
The main function of ear protection is to reduce the volume of the sounds that you hear. It usually doesn’t block them out completely, although some forms of hearing can do that depending on the volume of the sound. It’s more about reducing the volume of the sounds to a safe level. Those volume levels are measured in decibels, and volume under 85dB is generally considered safe and not a threat to your hearing. With the use of the right ear protection in the right circumstances, that reduction is what’s achieved.
Which Style Is Right for Me?
There’s a range of different types of ear protection out there. And choosing the right form or ear protection for the given situation is very important. Disposable foam earplugs are the most basic and low-quality type of ear protection, but they can help light sleepers and they can reduce exposure to loud music at live music events, for example. Custom earplugs offer a more comprehensive level of protection because they’re molded to your specific needs. Earmuffs that sit over the ears are most protective and are used in situations where very dangerous high-volume noises are present.
Can Ear Protection Prevent Hearing Loss?
The first thing to note is that there are different types of hearing loss and they’re caused by different things. So, it’s not true to say that ear protection can prevent all forms of hearing loss, but it can help to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. So, if you’re concerned about loud noises causing your hearing loss, the right ear protection will help to prevent that specific hearing loss problem. The main reason most people use ear protection is because it protects against this type of hearing loss.
Does It Protect Against Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom that’s closely linked to hearing loss in a number of ways. It’s another condition that’s usually noise-induced, but not always. Noise-induced tinnitus certainly can be prevented with the use of ear protection. It means that loud noises, whether one-off events or exposure over a prolonged period, won’t cause as much damage as they otherwise might and that’s obviously something that’s important when it comes to preventing the onset of tinnitus. There’s no cure for tinnitus, although it can be treated. Nevertheless, it’s a condition that’s best prevented if possible.
Isn’t Hearing Loss Mainly a Concern for Older People?
As we’ve discussed, hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors and old age is certainly one of them. People who are older are much more likely to naturally develop hearing loss than younger people. But that certainly doesn’t mean that young people are immune to hearing loss, especially when it comes to noise-induced hearing loss. Exposure to loud noises without the use of ear protection is capable of damaging anyone’s hearing and causing issues such as hearing loss or tinnitus, no matter how old or young that individual is.
Can Damaged Hearing Be Fixed?
There’s no real cure for hearing loss, and that’s why it’s fair to say that damaged hearing can’t be fixed as such. There’s no way of getting rid of or reversing hearing loss once it’s occurred. However, there are treatments out there, such as the use of hearing aids and other hearing instruments, so it’s certainly not a lost cause either. But due to the lack of an easy cure, it’s important for everyone to take steps to protect their ears and prevent hearing loss whenever it’s possible to do so.
Be sure to talk to your audiologist if you have any further questions about ear protection or hearing loss. We can help you with that here at Albuquerque Hearing and Balance, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like any further assistance or you’d like to book an appointment with one of our trusted audiologists. To do so, call us today at (505) 750-9569.