Hearing Protection: Custom versus Universal – What’s right for me?

Let’s face it, we live in a NOISY world and it is only getting noisier! You may ask yourself: “How do I protect my hearing from all these loud sounds?” or “What type of earplug should I use?” or “Where can I get something to block out this noise?” Here is some information to help you TUNE IN to the right hearing protection!

Hearing protection devices (HPDs) come in a large multitude of styles and types from a variety of manufacturers. Primarily HPDs come in three main styles: custom earplug, universal earmuff, and universal earplug. Custom HPDs are created by taking an impression of the ear, similar to a dental impression, so that the custom HPD can be form-fitted to the individual’s ears. They are made for that individual and will only fit in the ear they were made for. They are very comfortable for long periods of wear and provide a more consistent fit and protection from harmful noise. Generally speaking, custom HPDs last for a long time and are not single use HPDs. Custom HPDs can be ordered and fit by your local Audiologist at Easterseals Center for Better Hearing.

Universal earmuffs and earplugs are designed for nearly any ear and any person. Earmuffs go over the ear, usually sitting on the skull around your ear whereas earplugs are designed to go in the outer portion of your ear canal. Universal earplugs and earmuffs come in a variety of styles, materials, colors, and sizes. There are soft disposable foam earplugs as well as reusable pre-molded flange style plugs. Some earmuffs just provide protection while others have external microphones for use during hunting or incorporate radios or headphones for music listening. Universal HPDs are readily available at many home improvement stores as well as online.

Whether you go with a custom style or universal style hearing protection device, it is important to protect your hearing from harmful noise using a well fit HPD. Always be sure to read the insertion directions for optimal fit and remember that not all HPDs fit all ears so some trial and error may be needed to find the best hearing protection for your ears!

Visit http://www.betterhearingct.com/custom-earmolds-and-earplugs to learn more about custom hearing protection.