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What is Custom Hearing Protection?
You will probably be familiar with the silicone or foam earplugs that you can typically buy at most dollar stores. However, some are better than others in terms of comfort and fit, and it can be a long haul in getting to finding the best ones for you. This is because everyone’s ears are different, and everyone’s experience of sound is also different. Most silicone or foam earplugs are also limited for re-use, and some of them are entirely disposable after one use, which may not be the choice for you for the environmentally conscious.
Custom hearing protection means the very best defense from dangerous sound levels thanks to its perfect fit, made from quality and durable materials – usually acrylic or a medical-grade soft silicone for optimum comfort. Custom hearing protection should always be discussed with an audiologist for the very best results.
How Does Custom Hearing Protection Work?
It’s important to remember that no earplugs, or any hearing protection at all, even if it is custom made especially for you, will give you 100% silence or block out every noise. This is a good thing and really important in case of any emergency – you will still be able to hear the fire alarm, for example, even in your sleep. The science behind why this comes down to conduction is how sound is received in the first place.
By using custom hearing protection, air conduction can be prevented thanks to the tight fit and seal created within the ear canal, thus preventing sound leakage. Bone conduction, however, involves vibrations being picked up by the bones in your skull, sent to the eardrum and then to the brain, which will make sense of those sounds. This is how you will still hear important noises, even with custom earplugs.
How Are Hearing Protection Products Made Custom?
Custom-made earplugs are made by taking an imprint of your inner ears themselves. The audiologist will explain to you that your finished impressions are similar to 3D images of the inside of your ear, which allow for your resulting custom earplugs to account for every single curve and hollow inside.
After taking the imprints, they will be sent to a laboratory where manufacturing takes place. Quite often, you will choose colors or designs to give them an even greater sense of personalization. In addition, musicians, for example, require acoustic filters to still hear some untouched music. Again, this should be discussed with your audiologist to achieve the most accurate results for you.
Custom hearing protection, such as the custom earplugs mentioned, will fit your ears perfectly and your ears only. The impressions taken are unique to your ear shape, giving an exceptionally accurate and snug fit for the very best results all around.
Your hearing is important and investing in protection is something that should be considered carefully. Take the time to book an appointment with your audiologist and go through your options and choices regarding custom hearing protection and how best to wear your hearing protection for maximum benefit.