Do you work in an environment that's considered high-noise? Or are you someone that's prone to ear infections or wear a tympanic membrane tube? An earmold or earplug fitting session with us might be just what you need. Here's what to know about the benefits of wearing earmolds and earplugs in the prevention of hearing loss.
What are Earmolds and Earplugs?
Earmolds and earplugs are hearing protective devices (HPDs) that help patients protect their hearing and reduce the overall risk of hearing loss. A comprehensive hearing evaluation, carried out by a trained physician known as an otolaryngologist or a certified audiologist, can help determine whether an earmold or a custom-fitted earplug is right for you.
What Are the Different Types of Earmolds and Earplugs?
There are several different types of earmolds and earplugs that can be recommended depending on your lifestyle, communication needs, and work environment. Some HPDs can be custom-fitted for each patient, while others like foam insert plugs are moldable and offer a one-size-fits-all model. Some common HPDs include:
- Foam insert plugs
- Pre-molded plastic plugs
- Custom-fitted earplugs
- Canal caps-- they seal the entrance of the ear canal
- Earmuffs—they completely seal the entire ear and prevent the entry of noise
What Are the Benefits of Earmolds and Earplugs?
There are multiple benefits to using earmolds and earplugs in your daily activities. If you work in a high-noise environment, the use of custom-fitted earplugs or earmuffs can help prevent the negative effects of loud sound and prevent the onset of hearing loss.
Custom earmolds are also recommended for swimmers to prevent water from getting inside the ear if patients are already fitted with eardrum tubes or are more prone to ear infections. Earmolds and earplugs can also be used for:
- Concerts and music shows
- High-noise work environments
- Aircraft crews
- Hunting and shooting
- Industrial workers
- Music producers and sound engineers
- Construction workers
What to Expect During an Earmold and Earplug Fitting
If you've never had an earmold or earplug fitting before, you might wonder what to expect during the appointment. A certified audiologist at Reuhl Audiology will begin by asking you a series of questions to establish your current health status, as well as the best type of earmold or earplug for you.
From there, a comprehensive hearing evaluation, which can last up to two hours in length, is carried out to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. For custom fitted earmolds and earplugs, an earmold impression is taken of one or both ears. The mold is then sent to the earplug manufacturer, who will customize the mold to fit you.
Follow-up appointments are common to ensure that your earmolds and earplugs not only fit properly but are adequate at blocking out noise and preserving your hearing.
For more information about earmolds and earplugs, contact Reuhl Audiology at (630) 230-2373.