Hearing Protection to Help Prevent Hearing Loss
Just because hearing loss is irreversible, doesn’t mean it’s not preventable. Armed with the knowledge of what damages your hearing and how to protect yourself from that damage gives you a head start on preventing the irreversible damage that later leads to hearing challenges.
Second only to age deterioration, especially in adults under the age of 70, is ongoing exposure to loud noise, or noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Ongoing, repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 decibels (the sound of an idling bulldozer) for an extended period, or a single extreme noise event, like an explosion (210 dB+) can cause permanent hearing loss.
In most cases, we can’t help fix your hearing after it’s been damaged, so our team of audiologists at Allision Audiology and Hearing Aid Center would rather help you prevent the damage and ensure that you, and our friends and neighbors in Houston, enjoy a lifetime of good hearing by educating our communities about how to protect their hearing and provide everyone with hearing protection.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Sound is measured in decibels (dB) on a logarithmic scale. With 0 being complete silence, sounds 10 times louder than total silence measure 10 dB, and sounds 100 times louder than silence are 20 dB.
Sounds below 85 dB will not damage your hearing but sounds over 85 decibels without hearing protection will determine the damage to your hearing. The length of time you’re exposed to sounds over 85dB without protection will do increasingly more damage as the sound levels increase.
At 85 dB, you can be exposed for up to 8 hours without causing damage, but damage occurs with half the exposure time with each increase of 3 dB of sound intensity, so at 88 dB, you can only be exposed for 4 hours. Continuing up the scale, you can be exposed to 91 dB for only 2 hours and 94 dB for just 1 hour.
Damage is done to your hearing in less than 90 seconds of unprotected exposure to sounds at 110 dB (playing a trombone or trumpet), your ears experience damage within 7 seconds when your ears are unprotected from intensity levels in excess of 120 dB (siren on ambulance or police car).
To understand how serious the problem of NIHL is, ongoing exposure to loud music through headphones (110 to 115 dB) for just five minutes can be dangerous. Live concerts often exceed 135 dB; lawn equipment, chainsaws, motorcycles, snowmobiles and power tools typically range between 90 dB and 110 dB, and discharging a firearm reaches levels in excess of 145 dB, which can cause instant, permanent damage.
Benefits Of Custom Hearing Protection
With Custom Hearing Protection, Each Specific Type Of Hearing Protection Device Provides Additional Benefits Specifically Related To Their Use, Like:
- Accurate frequency response with a full range of sounds, but at a reduced volume.
- Vents to allow sound to pass both ways to prevent reverberation inside of your ears.
- Precision-engineered filters for specific, measurable protection and more natural sound.
- The use of medical-grade silicone allows for extended wearing without discomfort.
- Replaceable sound filters allow you to select the level of sound protection you need for each situation.
Since every ear and each of your ears is unique, a custom fit solution not only provides better protection, but makes them more comfortable.
Hearing protection is given a noise reduction rating, or NRR, which tells how many decibels of noise reduction the device provides. As an example, to reduce 110 dB sound exposure to under 85 dB (which allows 8 hours of safe exposure), you’ll need hearing protection with an NRR of 25 dB.
Earmold Impressions At Allison Audiology In Houston
For any customized earpiece, the process begins with an impression of your ear. After getting an impression of each ear, we select the device that best fits your needs, and then we ensure a proper fit and feel once your custom device is ready.
How Do We Make Earmold Impressions?
Your hearing provider will first inspect your ear canal to ensure it is healthy and there is no debris that will impact the integrity of the overall impression. After inspection, a cotton block (otoblock) will be placed in the canal to protect the ear canal and eardrum from the molding material from going any further down the canal than necessary.
With the otoblock in place, the earmold impression material can be inserted into the canal, which flows and shapes to the unique contours of your ear.
When creating an impression for hearing protection and in-ear monitors, you’ll need to keep your jaw in an open position while the impression material is curing, achieved by placing a soft block between your teeth.
Once the earmold impression material cures, it can be removed. Your hearing care provider will ensure a successful earmold by ensuring that certain landmarks on the earmold impression are obtained, before sending it to the manufacturer to create your custom device.
"If you are concerned about your hearing and you do nothing about it, you will live your life always concerned about your hearing."
Suffering from hearing loss since he was 7 years old, Billy has endured a lifetime of hearing loss troubles and mishaps.
From punctured eardrums to fluid building behind his eardrums, his luck was falling short and he was concerned his hearing would never improve.
“I felt comfortable and at ease. The people were nice and were willing to take the time to adjust the hearing aids for me and show me how to maintain them.”
“People were always saying I told you that already. I was missing conversations. My mind would have to decode sometimes what someone would say…
“My audiologist was so knowledgeable it made me feel secure and I knew I had come to the right place.”
“I was having to ask people to repeat things and I found myself turning my TV volume up more and more.
“I was worried that wearing a hearing aid would make me look old…
Don’t wait, it will be a change you would not expect – Debbie’s Story
Debbie first noticed she had an issue with her hearing back in 2009 as her hearing began to affect her day-to-day life.…
I can hear nature sounds & understand conversations better, especially with my grandchildren.
Francine has suffered with hearing problems for years due to tinnitus. As it quickly began to escalate, she realized that she needed urgent attention and soon after she came across Allison Audiology…
Fred first visited an ENT clinic to discuss the tinnitus he was experiencing from time to time.
Following his visit, he was surprised to find out that he needed hearing aids and his hearing was in poor condition…
You cannot find a better place to address your hearing challenges. The staff members treat you like family and will go the extra mile to help you.
Frida has spent much of her life struggling with hearing loss. While it was ignored for many years, it gradually began to affect her everyday life and soon she found it hard to socialise with others...
It’s a very clean office with efficient people. You will never be rushed.
While John’s hearing loss was very sudden, he has been amazed at the difference his hearing aids have made to his hearing:
“I never thought I would need hearing aids but am happy to have them now. I could not hear in a busy environment, but now I can...
Professional approach, friendly testing, and various choices in hearing aids
When Ronald first realized he had a hearing challenge, his biggest worry was the “aggressive selling of hearing aids”, which many large distributors fall under.
To his surprise, his first impressions of Allison Audiology were a “peaceful approach of personnel” that addressed his hearing loss concerns effectively and professionally...