Quality Ear Plugs can Protect you From Serious Hearing Loss


Even if your goal is only a better night’s sleep, quality ear plugs are going to prove more effective than a cheaper, inferior product. Cheap substitutes will invariably fit badly and are inclined to fall out with very little provocation. In practice, there is every chance that you would be better off when simply stuffing your auditory canals with cotton wool.


However, apart from facilitating the nocturnal slumbers of those who may live close to a busy highway or are cursed with noisy neighbours, these devices also have a far more important use. With noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) now topping the WHO statistics as the most common form of auditory impairment, among the most effective protective measures is to insert a pair of quality ear plugs whenever you may be at risk.


Although the effects may be potentially less damaging, swimmers often suffer infections accompanied by partial hearing loss. However, if untreated or tending to recur frequently, this could eventually result in more permanent damage to their hearing. In such cases, these devices can also provide invaluable protection against such infections but, once again, only if they fit securely and leave no gaps through which inadequately chlorinated water could gain entry.


While medications, chemicals and infections are all implicated in hearing loss, some reversible and some not, nothing can cause permanent damage as quickly as noise and there is no simpler or better defence than wearing quality ear plugs. Some simple examples of sound levels and their effects may serve to highlight the seriousness of the everyday dangers around us. A normal conversation takes place at around 60 decibels and will cause no damage, however, even when idling, a bulldozer generating around 85 dBA can cause permanent damage to anyone working nearby in the course of a single 8-hour shift.


The chances are that most children and lots of adults listen to a personal music system using standard headphones at full volume. With just 15 minutes of exposure a day, the resulting 100 dBA is sufficient to cause progressive, permanent damage. With in-ear phones it takes far less.


In the workplace, quality ear plugs are now widely accepted as being the preferred solution. They have been proven to be measurably more effective than the ear defenders that are more often issued to workers in high risk environments. These are also the better choice of protection for users of firearms, bearing in mind that a gunshot, depending on the weapon, can generate anything between 140 and 190 dBA and cause instant damage. For the iPod fans, however, the only working solution will be to exchange the in-ear phones for headphones and to go easy on the volume.


Clearly, our modern lifestyles have resulted in a more widespread need for quality ear plugs and so it is fortunate that, along with their other hearing-related services, The Ear Institute clinics also offer South Africans a superior product in this category and it is worth noting that they are recommended for use by those whose hearing may already be affected.


Whether to prevent onset or worsening, these custom-made soft silicone or acrylic units are available in a choice of colours and fit snuggly into each individual ear canal, as only quality ear plugs can.

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