Custom Earmolds and Earplugs
One of the leading causes of permanent hearing loss is exposure to high noise levels. Whether this exposure is sudden or prolonged, the effects can be the same depending on the level of the noise.
Proper hearing protection is critical for anyone who has regular exposure to loud sounds. Some of the most common sources of exposure include hunting/shooting, factory/construction work, motorcycles and other loud engines. Anytime a sound is loud enough to be unpleasant, hearing protection should be worn as a way to counteract noise induced hearing loss.
There are several types of over the counter noise plug which offer some level of noise protection, but if you are regularly exposed to loud sounds a custom earplug is the best solution. Custom earplugs are designed to fit comfortably in the ear, reducing the pressure and discomfort of a foam ear plug, they are made of some type of silicone (depending on the mold) making them easy to keep clean and hygenic and are designed to filter out specific levels of noise without completely blocking your hearing.
Earmolds are available in many different colours, styles and sizes. They can be made from a solid silicone for tight fits and powerful hearing losses, or from a hollow lucite to fit milder losses. The most common sizes are full-shell which fill the entire ear canal and up to the anti-helix, most often used in more powerful hearing aid fittings, or cases where retention is difficult, or the tiny canal molds that are popular with Receiver in the Ear style hearing aids. Canal molds leave the ear more open, allowing better ventilation and a more natural sound and feel to the hearing aid for milder hearing losses.
The type of earmold your specialist will recommend depends on your individual needs and hearing loss. Custom earmolds can even be made to fit your ear buds or for commercial applications like pilot or newscaster headsets.
Custom earmolds are an excellent fit for patients that have had difficulties in the past with comfort or feedback (whistling) in their hearing instruments.
Earplugs are designed for hearing protection and conservation. They are typically smaller than a hearing aid mold, but the thickness allows for different levels of sound attenuation. Some plugs are solid, while others include a filter to allow certain frequencies of sound to pass through easier than others. Filtered earplugs are generally used by musicians or other people that need to converse and communicate while still reducing loud sounds in situations like sporting events.
Specialty earplugs are custom fit to the ear, providing a much more comfortable fit than non-custom earplugs. Custom earplugs can include detachable cords or handles depending on the wearer's needs.
Custom fit earplugs are not just for those that work or play in high noise level environments. There are also custom solutions for other activities such as swimming or sleeping.
Whatever your unique lifestyle, your hearing professional has custom solutions to fit your needs. Your hearing is important. Take care to protect it for today and for the future. If you work in a high-noise environment, it's important to have regular hearing appointments to check for early indications of hearing loss. Speak with you hearing specialist today about the right solution for you.