Protecting your hearing is more important than ever. With the proliferation of earbuds and loud music, more people are suffering from noise-induced hearing loss than ever before. However, loud music isn’t the only culprit for this preventable hearing loss. Many work environments, household chores and daily activities can also put people at risk for having noise-induced hearing loss. As such, it is important to take steps to protect your hearing when exposed to loud noises for long periods of time.

Before you mow the lawn, go to a rock concert or drive a motorcycle, considering arming your ears with one of the six common hearing protection options.

  1. Foam earplugs. These disposable handy plugs are cheap and easy to come by. Foam earplugs are inserted into the ear canal, plugging it from exposure to loud noises.
  2. Wax balls. Unlike foam earplugs, which still provide some sense of hearing, wax balls can be manipulated to completely close off someone’s ability to hear. These balls are also inexpensive and disposable.
  3. Earmuffs. Earmuffs are available in many types of models. They can be clicked into safety helmet or made special for children who need help focusing. Earmuffs are often covered in soft material or spongy material. They sit over each ear and are connected by a headband.
  4. Silicon plugs. These plugs are similar to foam earplugs but are less irritating to the skin. Unlike foam plugs, silicon plugs are not inserted into the ear. Rather, they only cover the auditory canal.
  5. Universal earplugs. These earplugs are considered the most popular or common type of earplug. They completely seal off the auditory canal but, unlike wax balls, they enable some sense of hearing.
  6. Otoplastics. If none of the aforementioned options work well enough, people can consider a customized hearing piece. Musicians and motorcyclists often use otoplastics, as this type of hearing protection fits perfectly and can last for years.

If you work around loud noises or your hobbies exposure you to dangerous levels of sound, it’s crucial to find the right ear protection to keep your hearing healthy. Schedule an appointment with your audiologist to discuss which ear protection options are ideal for your needs. The audiologist will be able to evaluate the threatening noise levels in your life and make a recommendation to help keep your ears in the best shape possible.