85 decibels. That’s the sound intensity at which repetitive exposure can bring on severe hearing damage.
100 decibels. that is the sound degree hit by a rock concert, which is not-so-good news for musicians or live concert goers.
It’s also a portion of a bigger problem: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), roughly 30 million people in the U.S. are subjected to to detrimental noise volumes, representing one of the foremost work-related threats over the recent 25 years.
And musicians aren’t the only ones at risk; here are some of the decibel volumes linked with basic work related activities: a power saw can reach 110 decibels, a newspaper press 97, a chain saw 120, a sporting show 105, and a plane takeoff 150. performers, production line workers, construction workers, airport employees, emergency personnel, plumbers, and craftsmen are all at risk of developing critical hearing loss and tinnitus.
Occupational hearing loss impacts thousands
Kevin Twigg of Stockport, England knows all too well about the work-related hazards of noise. Twigg worked on diagnosing and repairing police car sirens — which hit between 106 to 118 decibels — for more than 30 years.
After retirement, Twigg began to experience intense tinnitus in addition to severe hearing loss that mandated the use of hearing aids. Having failed to take on the safety methods that would minimize the noise levels, Twigg’s employer was found liable in court, losing a case in which Twigg would gain a considerable settlement.
This is a story that is all too familiar: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 alone there were 21,000 cases of work-related hearing loss reported.
How to protect your ears at work
So here’s the problem: the world needs musicians, carpenters, and emergency and construction staff, but you can’t really make power saws and police sirens any quieter.
The remedy? lessen the level of noise that comes in through your ear. straightforward, right? Well…not so fast.
You could just simply drive to the community store and pick up some disposable foam ear plugs, but as it turns out, there is a much more desirable alternative.
The most effective method requires the use of custom-fit ear plugs, often times referred to as musicians plugs, that your hearing consultant can personalize specifically to you, your job, and your needs.
4 reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are considerably better than the off-the-shelf foam variety
Here are four reasons why custom-fit ear plugs are far superior to foam ear plugs.
- conservation of sound quality
Regular foam ear plugs muffle speech and music. By lessening sound principally in the high frequency range, rather than in the mid-to-low frequency range, music and voices sound unnatural and indecipherable. Foam ear plugs also diminish sound by 30-40 decibels, which is not needed for the deterrence of hearing injury.
Custom-fit ear plugs will diminish sound more smoothly across frequencies while reducing sound volume by a lower decibel level, thereby conserving the organic quality of speech and music.
- avoidance of the “Occlusion Effect”
With foam ear plugs, the user will experience a hollowed out or boomy sound in their speech when speaking, singing, or playing an musical instrument. This irritating noise is referred as the “occlusion effect.”
Custom-fit ear plugs are shaped to the ear, establishing a deep seal that prevents this distracting sound.
- price & convenience
Custom ear plugs can last up to four years, normally at a cost of well below $100.
Let’s do some calculations on the disposable foam plugs:
$3.99 for 10 pairs equals $0.39 per pair
$0.39 per pair X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year X 4 years = $405.60
With custom-fit ear plugs, you will certainly save cash in the long run and will prevent all of those outings to the store. No one looks forward to shopping for ear plugs, so while the initial visit to the audiologist seems like a pain, in the long run you will also save time.
- preserving the environment
Throw-away ear plugs build up a lot of waste:
5 days per week X 52 weeks per year = 260 pairs of foam ear plugs tossed out each year.
Schedule an appointment and protect your ears
The many advantages of custom-fit ear plugs speak for themselves.
If you work in a industry that exposes you to a high risk for hearing damage, or if you participate in rowdy concerts or sporting events, schedule an appointment with a hearing professional today. Custom-fit ear plugs will protect your ears, and distinct from the disposable foam varieties, will also preserve the quality of sound.