What are hearing protectors and how effective are they?
Hearing protection devices decrease the intensity of sound that reaches the eardrum.
Hearing protection devices come in three forms: ear plugs, earmuffs and otoplastics.
Ear plugs are small inserts that fit into the outer ear canal. To be effective ear plugs must totally block the ear canal with an airtight seal. Ear plugs are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit individual ear canals and can be custom made.
For people who have trouble keeping them in their ear, ear plugs can be fitted to a headband.
Ear plugs must be snugly sealed, so the entire circumference of the ear canal is blocked.
An improperly fitted, dirty or worn-out plug may not seal, can irritate the ear canal and contribute to hearing damage.
Ear muffs fit over the entire outer ear to form an air seal, so the entire circumference of the ear canal is blocked and they are held in place by an adjustable band.
Ear muffs will not seal around eyeglasses or long hair and the adjustable headband tension must be sufficient to hold ear muffs firmly around the ears.
Otoplastics are individual fitted ear inserts. A sound channel is drilled in which an attenuation filter is fitted. Depending on the application the appropriate filter is selected.
Hearing protection devices are available from Hearing Tech.