A considerable 37 million people in the United States currently suffer from hearing loss. We live in a very busy, loud world where we are constantly bombarded with noise which puts us at risk of developing hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is the most widely diagnosed form of hearing damage and affects over 200,000 people in the United States annually. SNHL results from damage to the fragile hair follicles located in the cochlea (or the inner ear). These hair cells vibrate and convert sound signals into electrical impulses which are transported to your brain. Damage to these delicate cells can disrupt your hearing since they are incapable of regenerating, which can result in permanent hearing damage.
Recent research suggests that around 58 million people in the United States are currently exposed to extremely loud noises each day which can lead to conditions like tinnitus as well as permanent loss of hearing. Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers found that exposure to loud workplaces and sporting or musical events lead to an increased likelihood of developing hearing loss.
The predominant reason for hearing damage in noisy environments is the lack of use of any form of hearing protection. Research shows that at least 60% of people use no ear protection in recreational environments, while almost 40% of employees working in noisy working conditions do not use any ear protection. This lack of hearing protection puts people at risk of developing hearing damage due to such prolonged exposure to noise.
Hearing loss is an irreversible condition, which is why the only way we can protect ourselves from it is by implementing protective listening techniques. Simple measures such as wearing earplugs before using loud machinery or exposing yourself to loud environments can go a long way in protecting your hearing.
Hearing protection should not be taken lightly. Even though you may be tempted to purchase inexpensive, disposable foam earplugs, these types of earplugs are not only uncomfortable; they also block necessary sounds such as speech. They are also rather conspicuous and noticeable due to their intense orange color.
Your ears are unique and deserve special care. This is why it is a good idea to invest in customized hearing protection that is safe, hygienic, and more comfortable. Ear protection that is customized is made with a special medical-grade type of silicone that is hypoallergenic and fits comfortably into your ears. They can also be made to match your specific skin tone which makes them more discreet while providing you with adequate hearing protection. Customized hearing protection can also be made to accommodate specific recreational activities, such as earplugs that enable you to listen to safe levels of music while blocking out loud, harmful levels of sound.
Foam earplugs, due to their inexpensive material, do not have filters and tend to distort sound to a great deal. Customized ear protection can provide you with passive attenuation which filters and balances out all types of noise equally well and enables you to hear at safer levels of sound without experiencing any sound distortion. This type of ear protection is best used when operating loud appliances or while working in noisy work environments.
Active attenuation is a different kind of feature provided by customized ear protection. This type of feature enables you to experience more subtle sounds and accommodates both soft and loud types of sound. In a way, this is a smarter form of hearing protection since it provides you with a digital hearing protection that only functions when required. It enables you to hear uninterrupted safe levels of soft sounds while louder sounds are automatically detected and modified to a lower volume for your safety. This enables you to have a conversation with your colleague at your workplace while safely omitting sudden loud noises in your surrounding environment.
Keep your ears functioning at their best with customized hearing protection so that you can enjoy the world of sound for all your days to come. Contact your hearing care professional to learn more about custom-made hearing protection to see whether they are a good option for you. You can also gift this type of hearing protection to a loved one and provide them with a lifelong gift of sound.
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