How Loud Noise Affects Your Ears
Your inner ear has tiny hair cells that translate the sounds you hear into an electrical signal that your brain can interpret. There are approximately 16,000 hair cells in the human ear. On average, someone won't notice hearing impairment unless 30-60% of these are damaged. This means that by the time you are aware of a problem, many of the hair cells are destroyed beyond repair. As a result, the hearing loss is likely to be permanent.
Hair cells can die when they are overworked. The amount of exposure to sound that is necessary to cause damage varies depending on how loud the noise is. This is measured in decibels (dB). For reference, a normal conversation is about 60 dB, a whisper is 30 dB, and a motorcycle engine is 95 dB. Anything above 70 dB can cause hair cell damage in the case of prolonged exposure. At 140 dB or higher, the sound will cause instant damage, pain, and potential ear injury. Examples of these sounds include gunshots, firecrackers, or a jet taking off.Using hearing protection reduces the volume of sounds that reach your inner ear. This prevents damage to hair cells and minimizes your risk of suffering hearing impairment.
Types of Custom Products
At Alltones Audiology, we can create custom products that product your ears.
When you are swimming, water can get into your ear and create a moist environment where bacteria can multiply. This can lead to a type of ear infection known as swimmer's ear or otitis externa. Although this begins with mild symptoms, it can progress further and may cause temporary hearing loss, severe pain, and/or fever. If you are swimming often or are prone to ear infections, you should consider using custom swimming ear plugs. These are also especially helpful for young children. Unlike the ear plugs you can buy at the store, custom swim molds are fitted by our professionals so they are watertight. This makes them more effective.
Musicians' Ear Plugs
If you are a musician or singer, you may be exposed to loud sounds for long periods of time during practices and performances. This can cause serious damage to your ears over time, so it's important to be proactive about hearing protection. Musicians' ear plugs are custom-made to fit your ear and reduce sound levels. Whereas foam ear plugs tend to only affect higher frequencies and therefore can distort the sound, custom musician's ear plugs are crafted so they do not affect sound quality.
In-ear monitors, also known as IEMs or in-ears, are a variety of headphones that deliver sound directly into your ear canal. They are especially popular for musicians and singers during live performances. This is because, like musician's ear plugs, they help control the noise level and prevent ear damage while also ensuring ideal sound quality. However, in-ear monitors are not just for professional performers. You can also use them to listen to music casually. IEMs are discreet and a custom fit ensures that they are completely comfortable.
Getting a good night's sleep is essential for your health. If you live near a busy street, have a partner who snores, or are otherwise exposed to loud noise at night, ear plugs can help block out sound and improve the quality of your sleep. One of the major benefits of professionally-made custom sleep plugs is that they fit perfectly in your ear. This means they won't fall out during the night and they are more comfortable for you.
Custom Audiology Solutions
Alltones provides custom hearing and ear protection products including swim molds, musicians' ear plugs, in-ear monitors, and sleep plugs. We even come directly to your home for fitting and consultations so you don't have to travel to an office or big box store.
To schedule a consultation to discuss hearing protection solutions, contact us today.
Don't wait to get the help you need for your hearing loss. We come to you and deliver outstanding, individualized care.