While earplugs are all designed with the same goal—to protect your ear from harmful noises—they are not created equal. Disposable one-size-fits-all earplugs have their place, but they pale in comparison to the level of comfort and protection achieved with custom earplugs.
Below we explain why you should choose custom earplugs when looking to protect your hearing.
What Are Disposable Earplugs?
The most popular style of disposable earplugs is slow-recovery foam earplugs, which account for about 75 percent of all disposable earplugs sold in the United States. They are designed to fit any ear and to be used only once, creating a lot of waste.
To correctly place these earplugs in your ear, roll them into a small cylinder and insert them as deep into the ear canal as possible. They must then be held in place for up to two minutes as they fully expand, filling in the ear canal. Temperature can affect how long it takes the earplug to fully expand; cooler weather will cause your slow-recovery foam earplug to take longer to expand than when it is warmer.
Many users do not get appropriate protection from noise due to rushing through the process.
What Are Custom Earplugs?
Custom earplugs are produced from an impression taken of your ear in our office. Technicians use that impression to create earplugs designed with the exact measurements of your ear canal, concha and helix.
Earplugs can be made out of a variety of materials depending on your needs. Most will opt for a silicone material, which will last between three and five years depending upon the care and handling.
Any healthy ear can be fit for an earplug, meaning those with ears that are too small or large for disposable earplugs can benefit from custom hearing protection. Those with unusually shaped ears from a birth defect, trauma, disease or surgery can be successfully fitted as well.
Most impressions can last for up to five years before they should be retaken. This means, if you lose your custom earmolds, replacements can be easily created from the impression on file.
Benefits of Custom-Made Earplugs
If you are regularly exposed to loud noises, you should consider investing in custom-made earplugs. The benefits include:
- Superior sound quality
- Exceptional comfort
- Long-term savings
To learn more about the benefits of custom-made earplugs or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact us at Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center today.