Why do we need ear protection?

Our hearing mechanism can detect the faintest whisper right up to the roar of a jet engine.

If you can imagine that the very fine, delicate, hair-like structures of the inner ear are a little like underwater grasses constantly in motion with the waves of the water. The bigger the sound (the bigger the movement of the water), the more the tiny structures (like the grasses) move.

Now imagine a huge underwater current violently shaking the underwater grasses. This is similar to what happens when we hear very loud sounds.

The fluid in our inner ears moves with enormous force which can damage the delicate, fine structures within our ears.

If this happens repeatedly over time or if the sound is of an extremely high level, this can result in permanent damage to our hearing, often with tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

The damage done to the delicate, fine hair-like structures, often occurs before any noticeable hearing loss. This is why ear protection/hearing protection is essential if you are at risk of noise damage. Read more in our blog How we hear


Who is at risk for noise induced hearing loss?

Musicians are at a high risk of noise induced hearing loss. Partly due to the level of sound that they experience, but also due to the repeated exposure to their art form. Read more in our blog How loud is too loud?

Several high-profile musicians and DJs have talked openly about their experience of hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of their careers.

The use of firearms whether for leisure or whilst serving in the armed forces is another risk for noise induced hearing loss. 

The use of heavy machinery and equipment, for example, power tools have also been linked to hearing loss.

Motorsports and riding a motorbike also expose the riders to high levels of sound, often for extended periods of time.

Basically, any situation where the noise level appears high enough to prevent you hearing conversational speech, can be potentially harmful.

Types of ear protection

Ear protection or noise reducing ear plugs come in a variety of styles. The most basic reduce sound by blocking the ear.

The most advanced are custom, bespoke ear plugs, which can be made with a specific level of attenuation (noise reducing properties).

These are designed to reduce all frequencies of sound by the same amount, thus allowing for a natural sound albeit at a quieter level. Perfect for listening to music for example.

Here in Leeds, our audiologist is able to discuss your requirements and is able to offer custom, bespoke ear protection. These require the unique shape of your ear being taken which allows for a custom fit.


Swim moulds

A condition called ‘swimmers’ or surfers’ ear occurs, due to repeated exposure to cold water. Essentially, small bony growths occur in the external ear canal. These can become problematic. Custom ear plugs are one way to minimise this risk.

Sometimes children, or adults with ear perforations (hole in the eardrum) can benefit from custom swim moulds. These often allow individuals to continue with their swimming whilst reducing the risk of ear infections.


Sleep ear plugs

We all know how important sleep is to our general health and well-being. Whether you have noisy neighbours or work shifts, you may benefit from custom ear plugs to help you sleep. Again, our audiology clinic in Leeds will be able to provide you with the best advice for your needs.

Contact us today for an initial discussion.

T: 0113 8730444

E: hello@thehearingspace.co.uk