The two most common causes of hearing loss are aging and exposure to loud noises. While nothing can be done to slow down the march of time, earplugs are a simple and effective solution to protect your ears from potentially dangerous noises. Earplugs can be purchased in your local pharmacy or created specifically for you from a mold taken of your ear. While more expensive, experts agree that custom hearing protection is well worth the price tag.
Approximately 75 percent of all disposable earplugs sold in the United States are slow-recovery foam earplugs. To use them correctly, they must be rolled into a small cylinder and inserted deep into the ear canal. The earplugs will then fully expand and fill the ear canal. You may have to hold them in place during this process, which can take up to two minutes.
Many do not follow these directions, and because of that, they miss out on the full amount of potential noise protection.
Slow-recovery earplugs are designed to be worn once, creating a lot of waste and cost in the long run.
Created from an impression of your ear, these earplugs are crafted by technicians at a laboratory. They are guaranteed to fit the unique curves and proportions of your ears, as the impression includes your ear canal, concha and helix. And they are much more comfortable than their disposable alternatives, especially if worn for long periods of time.
Disposable earplugs are marketed as one-size-fits-all, but oftentimes they do not work well with ears that are too large or small. However, an earplug made to your exact specifications is sure to fit comfortably. As long as your ear is healthy and free from drainage, a custom earplug can be made. This includes people whose ears are usual shapes because of trauma, disease or surgery.
Earplugs can be created from a variety of materials but are most often molded with silicone. With proper care and handling, silicone earplugs can last between three and five years.
The impression taken by your audiologist that is used to mold your earplugs lasts for five years. If you lose and damage your earplugs, they can easily be reordered.
To learn more about the benefits of custom-molded hearing protection or to schedule an appointment, contact the hearing experts at Wilmington Audiology today.