Hear In Texas
Recreational Hearing Protection
Hearing Protection To Help Prevent Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is irreversible, but it’s not preventable. Knowing what damages your hearing and how to protect yourself from that damage gives you a head start on preventing the damage that leads to significant hearing challenges later on.
Next to age deterioration, exposure to loud noise is a common cause of hearing loss, especially in adults under the age of 70. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Ongoing, repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels (the sound of an idling bulldozer) or a single extreme noise event like an explosion (210 dB+) can cause permanent, irreparable hearing loss.
We can help fix your hearing after it’s been damaged, maybe, but Dr. Sally and the Hear in Texas team would rather help you prevent the damage and ensure that you and our friends and neighbors in New Braunfels enjoy a lifetime of good hearing, so we’re here to help educate you on how to protect your hearing and provide you with hearing protection.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Sound is measured in decibels (dB) on a logarithmic scale. With 0 dB being complete silence, sounds ten times louder than total silence measure 10 dB, and sounds 100 times louder than silence are 20 dB.
Sounds below 85 dB will not damage your hearing, but sounds over 85 decibels without hearing protection will determine the damage to your hearing. The length of time you’re exposed to sounds over 85dB without protection will do increasingly more damage as the sound levels increase.
At 85 dB, you can be exposed for up to 8 hours without causing damage, but damage occurs with half the exposure time with each increase of 3 dB of sound intensity, so at 88 dB, you can only be exposed for 4 hours. Continuing up the scale, you can be exposed to 91 dB for only 2 hours and 94 dB for just 1 hour.
Damage is done to your hearing in less than 90 seconds of unprotected exposure to sounds at 110 dB (playing a trombone or trumpet), your ears experience damage within 7 seconds when your ears are unprotected from intensity levels in excess of 120 dB (siren on an ambulance or police car).
To understand how serious the problem of NIHL is, ongoing exposure to loud music through headphones (110 to 115 dB) for just five minutes can be dangerous. Live concerts often exceed 135 dB; lawn equipment, chainsaws, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and power tools typically range between 90 dB and 110 dB, and discharging a firearm reaches levels in excess of 145 dB, which can cause instant, permanent damage.
Benefits Of Custom Hearing Protection
Custom hearing protection is the best way to protect your ears from NIHL. The custom-molded hearing protection we provide allows for a more secure fit and ensures that your hearing protection stays in place during the activity you’re involved in.
With custom hearing protection, each specific type of hearing protection device provides additional benefits specifically related to their use, such as:
- Accurate frequency response with a full range of sounds, but at a reduced volume.
- Vented to allow sound to pass both ways to prevent reverberation inside of your ears.
- Precision-engineered filters for specific, measurable protection and more natural sound.
- The use of medical-grade silicone allows for extended wearing without discomfort.
- Replaceable sound filters allow you to select the level of sound protection you need for each situation.
Each ear is unique, so a custom-fit solution not only provides better protection but ensures that you’re more likely to use them because they are more comfortable.
Hearing protection is given a noise reduction rating, or NRR, which tells how many decibels of noise reduction the device provides. As an example, to reduce 110 dB sound exposure to under 85 dB (which allows 8 hours of safe exposure), you’ll need hearing protection with an NRR of 25 dB.
Our Custom Hearing Protection Products
Musicians need to hear what’s going on around them, but too much volume can damage their hearing. Custom musician’s plugs allow us to insert filters, so the ear can hear what it needs to with proper tonality while protecting against damage.
Hunting And Shooting Plugs
High NRR foam earplugs and molded earplugs offer great passive ear protection and are inexpensive. Generic reusable shooting earplugs also offer excellent passive protection and sometimes come with acoustic filters that still let safe sound through.
Our custom shooting and hunting plugs include filters designed to allow safe sounds to pass through in order to maintain situational awareness but also include custom molding for a more secure and comfortable fit while you’re in the field or at the range.
Though swimming does not lead to NIHL, regular, ongoing exposure to chlorinated water or lots of time swimming can cause swimmer’s ear or can cause damage to your child’s ear tubes. Our custom fit of the swim plugs helps prevent water from entering the ear canal to protect your ears from damage while swimming.
Schedule A Custom Hearing Protection Consultation
Protecting your ears from noise-induced hearing loss or swimmer’s ear helps ensure that you can avoid ongoing hearing challenges brought on by work, recreational activities, and lifestyle choices. Hear in Texas can help keep you hearing better and with greater comfort for as long as possible with customized hearing protection.
Submit the adjacent form to make an appointment with us and find out how our comfortable, effective hearing protection can help safeguard your hearing while enhancing your auditory experience.
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