The auditory (hearing) system keeps us connected to our environment. We can hear the television, listen to loved ones on the phone, interact with family members, communicate with colleagues, and enjoy the sounds of nature around us. To preserve this vital part of our life, it is important to protect the hearing ability we each have. Even those with hearing loss are susceptible to increased damage to their hearing if exposed to loud levels of sounds. Dr. Diane Williams is a strong advocate for hearing protection. She believes it is important to educate others on hearing and the many different ways to protect it.
Not all hearing protection is created equal. There are many different styles of hearing protection, and most have a specific purpose. It is important the style be chosen based on a number of aspects. One important aspect of choosing which protection is best is determining the reason for it. Is it for a concert, or is it for riding motorcycles? Another aspect is fit. There are over-the-counter hearing protection devices, but if not properly fit, may provide a vent that does not completely protect the ear from the loud sound. You may think you are protecting when you are really not. Dr. Williams strongly encourages custom fit devices that are made specifically to your ears so that a snug, but comfortable, fit is made providing the maximum protection for that device.
Earmuffs are another option to choose from. There are earmuffs with and without microphones, earmuffs that prevent levels of volumes from exceeding 85 dBA (the maximum level for listening in an 8 hour period), and earmuffs for children's small heads to protect them when in loud environments such as concerts, car races, or weapons firing.
If you are engaging in activities, whether at work or at play, that expose you to loud levels of noise (sound), contact Dr. Williams at Better Sound Audiology to discuss what hearing protection devices would be best for you.