According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 billion people in the world are at a high risk of developing a noise-induced hearing loss. Teens and young adults ages 12-35 are increasingly vulnerable to developing a permanent hearing loss as a result of noise exposure because of personal habits that include the use of personal audio devices and exposure to loud noise in social settings.
The permanent damage of NIHL can be the result of a one-time extreme noise event or consistent, long-term exposure to loud noise of various levels. Fortunately, the use of hearing protection can limit or prevent this type of hearing loss.
While generic earplugs provide adequate protection for some, investing in custom ear protection ensures maximum protection against loud noise, greater wearing security, and a more comfortable fit.
Is there someone who provides hearing protection near me?
Berkeley Hearing Center provides custom hearing protection for a broad range of lifestyles, occupations, and activities.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?
The hairlike sensory cells located in the cochlea of the inner ear are an essential component in the process of converting soundwaves into the electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain. Exposure to loud noise damages these cells, causing them to lose their sensitivity, reducing their ability to transmit sound, and eventually deteriorating to the point that they are no longer able to function.
Damage to your hearing is dependent upon the intensity of the sound along with your length of exposure to it. Your risk of permanent damage is due to exposure to any type of noise above 85 decibels (dB), which occurs in decreased time of exposure as intensity levels increase.
Consequently, exposure to common household, work, recreational, and social activity noises without protection can do permanent damage to your hearing if you’re exposed to them for a certain amount of time, such as:
- 90 dB: a lawnmower for four hours
- 95 dB: an electric drill for one hour
- 100 dB: a nightclub, train, snowmobile for 15 minutes
- 110 dB: a power saw, jackhammer, motorcycle for four minutes
- 120 dB: an ambulance siren, chainsaw, rock concert for one minute
- 130 dB: a stock car race, jet engine for eight seconds
- 140 dB: an airplane takeoff for one second
- 145+ dB: fireworks or firearm discharge instantaneous
If you take part in these or similar occupational, recreational, or social activities that involve ongoing exposure, consider custom hearing protection to limit their effect on the future of your hearing.
Benefits of Custom Earmolds and Earplugs
Custom earmolds and earplugs provide the best solution for protecting your ears because they:
- Provide a proper seal for greater protection
- Allow for greater wearing comfort
- Are less likely to fall out or move around when you’re active
- Provide more accurate frequency response
- Prevent reverberation inside your ears by allowing sound to pass both ways
- Often come with replaceable, precision-engineered filters for specific, measurable protection, more natural sound, and the capacity to change sound protection for different activities
- Are made from medical-grade silicone for less skin irritation
- Provide a unique fit for each ear
Custom Hearing Protection from Berkeley Hearing Center
We offer a broad selection of custom earmolds and hearing protection options, including:
Custom Solid Noise Plugs
These solid noise plugs offer the most comprehensive hearing protection, are made of medical-grade silicone material, offer far more comfort than foam plugs, are available in a wide range of colors, and can come with cords or clips to help keep them in place.
Custom Swim Plugs
Not all hearing loss problems are related to noise. Swimmer’s ear and surfer’s ear can also contribute to permanent hearing damage, but they are also preventable problems. These floating silicone swim plugs, designed to create a watertight seal in the ear, help reduce your chances of developing swimmer’s ear or surfer’s ear.
Custom Sleep Plugs
Contoured to allow you to lie on a pillow comfortably, sleep plugs are also made of medical-grade silicone material, come in a wide range of colors, offer far more comfort than foam plugs, and are a good option for motorcyclists because they fit more comfortably under a helmet.
Acoustic Filtered Plugs
Acoustic filters preserve your ability to hear speech while providing protection from high frequency sounds. These are ideal for individuals who work in moderate noise where they still need to communicate with those around them in comfortable and intelligible tones. Also made of medical-grade silicone, these plugs are available in a wide range of colors.
Hearing Specialists for Musicians and Music Lovers
Musicians are among those who run the greatest risk of developing NIHL. Damage can extend beyond the world of rock and roll and hard-core heavy metal musicians to musicians in all genres of music.
The ability to hear well is critical to the livelihood of musicians. Without the capacity to hear the right notes and words and stay on pitch or in the right key, the career of a musician is placed in jeopardy.
Without proper hearing protection, the loud sounds most musicians experience on stage and at rehearsal will cause permanent nerve damage to their hearing. Additionally, musicians are very susceptible to developing tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) which, while not physically life threatening, can produce career-ending consequences.
Berkeley Hearing Center takes the hearing health of musicians (and their fans) very seriously by providing both custom and non-custom products to help prevent NIHL. Wearing the right ear protection not only helps combat hearing loss, but it can also help to prevent tinnitus from developing.
We advocate the use of high-fidelity hearing protection to all genres of musicians and provide a variety of products designed to meet specific needs, such as:
These high fidelity earplugs come in both custom fitted and non-custom options, made from a variety of materials designed to be comfortably worn for extended periods of time. They provide the ability to hear the music being performed while simultaneously protecting against NIHL. They can also benefit concert-goers while they are enjoying the performance.
Stage monitors are a major component of hearing damage among musicians because they provide the necessary onstage sound to allow the band to hear the music being performed. In-ear monitors are designed for musicians or audio-engineer professionals to safely deliver the same necessary musical “feedback” of stage monitors but at a reduced volume while creating a physical barrier to damaging ambient noise levels.
Musician Earplugs Are Not Just for Musicians
The technology used in these earplugs was specifically designed to provide hearing protection for professional, onstage musicians, but they are beneficial to any number of different groups, such as:
- Students in the school band or orchestra
- Music teachers or conductors
- Concert or festival attendees*
- Nightclub workers or patrons
- Entertainment industry staff (including roadies, managers, and bodyguards)
*Musician earplugs can actually improve the fidelity of amplified concerts by reducing distortion associated with the auditory system being overdriven.
Learn More about Our Custom Earplugs
Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable with the use of hearing protection. Whether you’re a musician, work in a noisy environment, operate appliances around the house, or take part in hobbies or social activities that expose you to loud noise, custom hearing protection provides the best wearing comfort and noise attenuation to ensure that you continue hearing your best for as long as possible.
Contact Berkeley Hearing Center for more information about the custom earplugs we provide by submitting the adjacent form, and a member of our team will call you back to answer your questions.