What kinds of earplugs are the most comfortable?
In the modern world, earplugs should be considered to be an essential tool that everyone carries with them at all times. In this piece, we’ll look at the threat noise can pose to hearing health, why earplugs are crucial to helping to counter this issue, and what you need to look for when seeking the most comfortable earplugs on the market:
Why should earplugs be considered essential?
Most of us are relatively accustomed to loud noises – the sound of a vacuum, the roar of a hair dryer, the hum of heavy traffic in the distance. Many of us even attend events that make encountering loud noise a certainty; concerts, theater shows, sports events and parades. The 21st century is undeniably loud, and for the most part, we’ve all just adapted to that fact.
However, while we may be able to accept – or even seek out – loud noise, our ears are still extremely vulnerable to loud noise. Unfortunately, this means that even just living a fairly regular life can mean that our hearing is at risk from the relentless volume we are all subjected to.
At what level does sound become potentially harmful to hearing?
Sounds above around 80 decibels are considered to be potentially harmful to hearing health – and 80 decibels isn’t that loud. For example, a power lawn mower can reach up to 89 decibels in volume, and traveling on a subway can expose your ears to between 90 and 95 decibels.
More worryingly still, attending events such as concerts and sports events regularly means encountering decibel levels that are far above the 85 “harmful to hearing” threshold. A sports crowd can reach between 120 and 129 decibels; a full symphony can tip over the 130 decibels level with relative ease. As a result, attending just one of these events could be hugely detrimental to the health of your hearing.
However, the good news is that you don’t have to retreat into silence to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss: you can use earplugs instead.
How can earplugs help to protect your hearing?
The main goal of earplugs is to reduce the sound volume that reaches your ears. The lower the volume of sound you hear; the better protected your hearing will ultimately be. Earplugs allow you to go about normal life, and even attend events that tend to involve exposure to high volume, without having to worry about potentially damaging your ears.
What are earplugs made from?
Earplugs can be made from a few different materials, but the following are usually the most common:
- Foam. Foam earplugs are typically made from PV or memory foam. To use, the earplug is generally rolled and then placed over the entrance to the ear canal; the foam then expands and prevents sound from reaching the inner ear.
- Wax. These earplugs are not as popular as they once were, but can still be used if preferred. They are usually softened (usually by rolling into a ball) and then placed over the ear canal to block sound. However, wax earplugs will not expand to fill the entire opening to the ear canal as foam earplugs do.
- Silicone. There are two types of silicone earplugs; “plug” styles, which cannot be molded and are slide into place, and moldable “putty” options which can be softened and then flattened over the ear canal.
- Plastic. Plastic earplugs are inserted (very gently) into the ear canal to form a seal.
Which types of earplugs are most comfortable?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict which of the above earplug materials will be most comfortable for you. Everyone has different preferences in that regard, and what some people find highly comfortable may feel incredibly uncomfortable to others.
As a result, experimentation is usually the best route forward. Buy cheap, disposable, single-use earplugs in as many different materials as possible, then see which feel most comfortable in your ear. It’s helpful to wear them for a few hours too, so you can see if they become uncomfortable or dislodged when you move around.
Testing different types of earplugs with single-use options should give you a better idea of which option you find the most comfortable. You can then either purchase a reusable version made from your preferred material or use single-use earplugs every time your hearing is likely to be exposed to any sound over 85 decibels.
Earplugs should be an essential part of your everyday life, and hopefully, the advice above will help you find a pair that will help to protect the health of your hearing – as comfortably as possible – for many years to come.
If you wish to learn more about Cosmetic Hearing Solutions, then please contact 571-312-7345 at your next convenience.