Custom Hearing Protection
Hearing loss happens for a number of different reasons. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is the exposure to loud noise over a long period of time. Also known as noise induced hearing loss, prolonged exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels (dB) can cause lasting, irreversible hearing loss. To offer some perspective, when you attend a live music concert or a sporting event, sounds can reach as loud as 105dB, making it safe to be around this loud noise for only 4 minutes before damage can occur!
It is not always possible to avoid loud noise. Think about all the loud environments you are in on any given day. It may be music venues, bars, restaurants, and/or sport stadiums to name just a few. Maybe you enjoy playing music, listening to music at louder then normal levels, whatever it may be, and while you should always continue to do what you love, that doesn’t mean having to have the harmful effects of these situations happen to you.
Our ears are extremely delicate and very complex organs that make it possible for us to hear. When the fragile hair cells inside the cochlea are damaged by these extremely loud sounds, they can not be repaired by medicine or surgery. This is why we must protect our ears in situations where we are going to be exposed to loud harmful sounds.
This is where hearing protection can be most useful. Although hearing loss from noise exposure is permanent, it doesn’t mean it can’t be prevented. Awareness of these loud sounds are very important and this is where custom hearing protection comes in use.
Store purchased earplugs are a great introduction to hearing loss prevention but if you are frequently around loud noise at work or at play, it is recommended that you have custom made earplugs to help you reduce the loud noise you are exposed to on a much more consistent basis. The store purchased earplugs that you buy and squeeze together ore okay, but if they do not fill the entire ear canal, you haven’t accomplished much on the basis of reducing loud harmful sounds.
Custom Hearing Protection Devices
Custom ear plugs are made in the office by Dr. Gessert by mixing together a special formula of material and taking an impression of your ear and ear canal. (Do not attempt to do this yourself as without seeing what you are doing, you can actually cause damage to your ear.) This mold that is made by Dr. Gessert is then sent to the earmold manufacturer and they make a reverse cast of the mold and make a custom made earplug that fits your ear perfectly. When wearing these earmolds, the reduction of noise is very noticeable which will allow you to be exposed to this noise over an extended period of time.
There are many different earmolds that can be made for the different activities you do. These earplugs can include (but not limited to):
- Listening to loud music
- Hunting and shooting
- Work related loud noise
- Swim molds
- Those who need extra “quietness” at night to sleep
If you think you may be in need of custom made ear protection or have questions regarding these molds, please call Integrity Hearing Center at 636-528-4433 and ask for Dr. Gessert and he will discuss a solution that will be right for you for the situation you need the hearing protection.