Why Hearing Protection Is So Important

Hearing loss happens for many reasons, one of the most common being exposure to loud noise (noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL). Repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels (the sound of an idling bulldozer) can cause permanent, irreparable hearing loss. To give you perspective, hearing professionals consider exposure to loud music, either live or through headphones, to be particularly dangerous with sound intensity sometimes reaching 100 to 115 decibels (dB). This is where hearing protection, like earplugs, comes in.

While hearing loss is irreversible, that doesn’t mean it’s not preventable. Knowledge, hearing protection, and prevention can help keep your hearing healthy and you happy!
 

Custom vs. Generic Products

Custom-molded earplugs offer a degree of comfort and sound protection that you will not find in generic earplugs.

Benefits of custom protection:

  • A custom mold helps ensure your hearing protection stays in place and offers a secure fit.
  • They are designed to retain accurate frequency response, so you’ll hear the full range of sounds — just at a reduced volume.
  • They are vented to allow sound to pass both ways, which means the sound of your voice won’t reverberate inside of your ears like it does with most earplugs.
  • You get specific, measurable protection with precision-engineered filters that offer the most natural sound available, clear and unmuffled.
  • Custom molded from medical-grade silicone, these plugs can be worn for extended periods of time without discomfort.
  • Several models offer replaceable sound filters so that you can select the level of sound protection you need for the situation with 10, 15, 17, 20, 26, or 27 dB sound reduction.






In-Ear Studio Monitors for Musicians

Research indicates that musicians are about four times more likely than the general population to suffer from hearing loss due to their profession. On top of time spent practicing instruments, concerts regularly exceed 110 dB — loud enough to cause hearing damage in a matter of minutes. Musicians who do not wear hearing protection face the likelihood of hearing loss at an early age, and they risk their careers in the process.

Highline Hearing Professionals' in-ear musicians’ monitors that are custom-fit to the unique contours of your ear, so they fit comfortably for your entire performance. The snug but comfortable seal ensures that you only hear sounds through your monitors at a volume that is appropriate for you and won’t damage your hearing — and the sound quality of our products are second to none.

Contact our office to schedule your custom fitting appointment today!






Hearing Protection for Hunting

As a hunter, your ears face the risk of immediate damage from gunshots — if you fire them without proper ear protection. Highline Hearing Professionals offers an array of custom-fit, essential protective gear for hunters and shooters, military and police personnel, and industrial and manufacturing professionals. The hearing protection we fit you with is convenient to carry with you, and since it’s fit to the unique contours of your inner ear, it’s comfortable to wear.

We offer both standard hearing protection and electronic hearing protection for use wherever and whenever loud noise is a problem. Please call our office today or contact our office to schedule your appointment for custom-fit hearing protection!






Ear Protection for Swimmers

While there isn’t much to hear underwater, seasoned swimmers understand the importance of wearing ear protection to help prevent swimmer’s ear, surfer’s ear, and eardrum ruptures. Ear protection for swimmers help the ears equalize underwater, and are custom fit to create tight seals that keep the ear canal dry. Regular swimmers, or those who spend several hours per week performing activities in water, are encouraged to be fit for ear protection.

Our practice specializes in finding the right ear protection solutions for you. Please call us today to book your appointment for custom-fit swimming protection!






Ear Protection for Sleeping

So many factors go into what makes a good night’s sleep — something that many people strive for but struggle with every day for one reason or another. Our practice believes in taking charge of what you can control, like blocking out nighttime noises that keep you awake when you should be resting deeply. Whether it’s the result of street noise, loud neighbors, or a snoring partner, our custom-fit ear protection is so comfortable, you’ll barely know it’s there — because you’ll be sleeping too soundly to notice.

A lack of sleep can lead to psychiatric troubles and is tied to a multitude of other health issues. Getting poor sleep at night means you go to work the next day tired, have low energy and poor concentration, and are probably more stressed than you otherwise would have been. Call Highline Hearing Professionals today for a solution to snoring, traffic, loud neighbors, and other factors that can ruin the most important part of your night.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common loud noises I should avoid?
Perhaps the most common loud noise you’ll encounter is freeway traffic, which can be loud enough to damage hearing (85 dB) when it’s heavy. Lawn mowers, chain saws, ambulances, garbage trucks, and motorcycles are all fairly common neighborhood or street sounds that can damage hearing. During certain times of the year, firecrackers, jackhammers, snowmobiles, or outdoor sporting equipment (guns included) might make themselves known. And of course loud music — whether it’s through earbuds and a loud iPod or in person at a concert — is one of the most common culprits of hearing loss today.
My ears hurt after being exposed to loud noise. What should I do?
Do whatever you can to get away from that noise immediately. When a noise is painful, it’s likely that damage is being done to your hearing. Noises loud enough to cause pain are also typically loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage almost immediately. If the pain persists, please see a medical professional.
How do I protect my ears from loud noise?
Earplugs that fit snugly and seal tightly in your ear canal typically offer protection for a variety of situations. Custom-fit hearing protection offered by Highline Hearing Professionals can protect your ears from harmful noise levels while still allowing you to enjoy the activities you love.
Where can I get custom hearing protection?
Highline Hearing Professionals can fit you with custom hearing protection that defends the delicate inner ear against harmful noise levels.
How can I tell if a noise is dangerous?
If you must raise your voice in order to be heard over the sound, you’re probably experiencing a dangerous amount of noise. Do what you can to move out of harm’s way, or cover your ears if possible until the noise passes.
How long can I be exposed to loud noises before it affects my hearing?
Permissible noise exposure levels vary. Hearing loss is cumulative, meaning that the less time you’re exposed to loud noises over the course of your life, the better your hearing health is likely to be. The point at which sound begins to damage hearing is 85 dB, for which the permissible continuous exposure period is about eight hours. For each 3 dB increase in noise pressure, the permissible exposure time before hearing damage can occur is cut in half. For example, permissible exposure to 88 dB would be four hours, 91 dB would be two hours, 94 dB would be one hour, etc.
Are there advantages to earmuffs or earplugs?
Heavy-duty earmuffs can create a seal around the ear that cuts out noise to the same level as many earplugs. The main disadvantages of a larger headset are the possibility for less mobility, and the possibility that they may fall off, leaving the ears exposed for some period of time. Earplugs may also fall out, but custom-fit earplugs are likely to stay sealed comfortably in the ear for as long as you’d like to wear them.