Hearing protection is considered a non-negotiable part of hearing health. People who are constantly exposed to loud noises are vulnerable to hearing loss without any hearing protection. Harbor City Hearing Solutions provides custom ear protection and a wide variety of hearing protection for sports, work, or leisure activities.
How are custom ear molds made?
Custom earmolds are made by taking impressions of the ear canal and concha with a quick-setting, silicone-like substance. The impression is then sent to a manufacturer to turn the impression into a replica of a patient’s ear structure.
The procedure is quite similar to how dental impressions are made. The process of taking custom earmold impressions is generally painless but for some people, it may feel a bit odd, with a sensation of having the ears filled with water.
Types of Custom Ear Molds
Custom earmolds are typically made from one of three materials – vinyl, silicone, or acrylic. Each has its own set of pros and cons.
Vinyl earmolds are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and are softer than acrylic molds. These are a good choice for children and older adults as they are easy to insert and remove. Vinyl earmolds also provide a better seal which provides clearer sound and high-gain musical instruments.
Vinyl molds have the tendency to shrink, discolor, or harden over time. They also need to be replaced more often. People with allergies need to be wary of vinyl earmolds because the manufacturing process of this type of mold involves exposure to a saline solution.
Silicone earmolds are the softest and are extremely comfortable and flexible. These can provide a tight seal for excellent protection and sound quality. Silicone molds are very durable and can maintain their size and shape over time. Since silicone earmolds are super soft, they can be difficult to insert so they are not recommended for individuals with dexterity issues or with soft or flaccid ears.
Acrylic earmolds are known as the traditional type because they have been around the longest. Since acrylic is hard and durable, earmolds made from this material are resistant to shrinking and breakage. Acrylic earmolds are the easiest to repair and re-mold. These earmolds are simple to remove and insert and can be cleaned using mild soap or detergents. The biggest disadvantage of acrylic earmolds is their lack of flexibility. Acrylic earmolds are not recommended for people with narrow ear canals, especially children.
Types of Custom Ear Plugs
Custom earplugs are made with the help of an audiologist and offer personalized fit and sound attenuation. Usually made from silicone, custom earplugs can be used for a variety of purposes including sleeping, hunting, swimming, or listening to music.
How long do custom-made earplugs last?
If made from silicone, custom-molded earplugs can last anywhere between three to five years or longer. Of course, the durability of earplugs will depend on how often they are used and how well they are cleaner or maintained.
Types of Hearing Protection
Hearing protection has three types: earplugs, semi-insert earplugs, and earmuffs.
They can be pre-molded, rolldown foam, moldable, push-to-fit, or custom-molded. Earplugs can also be reusable, disposable, or customized.
Semi-insert earplugs are held over the ends of the ear canal by a rigid headband.
Earmuffs have hard outer cups but have soft ear cushions made of sound-attenuating materials. Similar to semi-insert earplugs, earmuffs are held together by a headband.
Hearing Protection For All Lifestyles and Activities
Hearing protection varies according to the type of lifestyle or activity it is used for which may include:
Hunting hearing protection protects the ears from the dangerous decibels of gunshots and other loud, sudden noises. When the noise levels reaches damaging levels, a filter instantaneously closes.
Music earplugs are ideal for musicians and concert-goers. However, these types of earplugs are not limited for the use of music. It can also be used by flight attendants, waiters, bartenders, dental professionals, or practically anyone who wants to hear sounds accurately but at reduced levels.
When the ears are constantly exposed to water, there is always the risk of developing an ear infection due to moisture. Swimming earplugs can help keep the ears dry as possible, forming a protective barrier while still allowing some levels of sound to pass through.
Sleep earplugs are recommended for light sleepers or for individuals who want to get a decent amount of sleep in noisy areas (terminals, public transport, etc).
Occupational earplugs are necessary to prevent health risks related to noise exposure at work. Industrial workers, factory workers, or employees who are exposed to loud machineries should wear occupation earplugs to prevent hearing loss.
Surfing earplugs are designed to prevent swimmer’s and surfer’s ear caused by exposure to wind and cold water. These are made of floatable materials molded with a sealed membrane covering the sound bore that helps keep cold water and air out of the ear canal.
SOUNDGEAR BY STARKEY
These customized earplugs based on the exact shape of the ear are designed to overcome the sensation of wearing an earplug. Users can control the settings of the environmental volume and/or sound quality.
Custom Ear Protection | Rockledge, FL
Damage to hearing can lead to irreversible consequences. Protecting the ears from loud, sudden noises, or regular exposure to dangerously loud decibels can prevent hearing loss.
Hearing protectors prevent noise induced hearing loss and reduces the noise energy reaching and causing damage to the inner ear. Harbor City Hearing Solutions carries a wide variety of hearing protection to suit every lifestyle, hobby, occupation, sports, and more. We also provide custom ear protection for a personalized fit and function.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation!