National Protect Your Hearing Month: Types of Protection
There are multiple options when it comes to hearing protection.
Foam earplugs are the most common because of their low cost, and because they block out a lot of sound. While they are comfortable for long periods of time, they can often be more difficult to get into the ear properly.
Ear muffs are easy to put on and take off, but generally do not provide as much noise reduction as foam disposable earplugs. Additionally, in some jobs, they might fall off due to sweat or lots of movement.
Some ear muffs can connect to radios and other communication devices. Wearing earmuffs on top of earplugs can add an extra 5 decibels of noise reduction and is a good option for those who work around very loud sounds.
Electronic / Active devices use a combination of electronic and structural elements to reduce sound levels. When loud sounds are present, they reduce the volume of the loud sounds. When there are no loud sounds around you, they amplify speech, animal movement, and warning signals.
Custom earplugs: By making a precise impression of your ear, earplugs can be made to fit your ear’s shape and size perfectly.
There are custom earplugs that are designed for work (like connecting to a radio or speech filters) and custom earplugs that are designed for recreational activities such as music, motorsports, and shooting. These are easy to insert and provide excellent reduction of sound. Custom plugs can be cleaned and re-used for years which ends up saving money and waste from using disposable earplugs.