Tag Archives: Hearing Loss

Image of girl plugging ears

Custom earplugs = protection + comfort

Ahhh …. summer. The great outdoors. Picnics, swimming, sports, festivals, fireworks! It’s a fantastic time of the year, especially for us Midwesterners. But with all the fun and fanfare, it can be easy to forget the “hidden dangers,” that is, the sounds of summer. Lawn mowers, concerts, cheering crowds – prolonged exposure to all of these can result in hearing loss or deficit. Even a chorus of cicadas can approach 100 decibels, which is as loud as a freight train!

The good news is that proper ear protection can help prevent hearing loss. Most of us are familiar with the common, disposable foam earplug. While using these is better than nothing, they still have their drawbacks when it comes to durability, fit, comfort and quality of sound. Custom ear plugs are superior than disposable options in all these measures.

chart of common sounds, decibels and exposure time
Common sounds, decibels and exposure duration

Cost-effective and eco-friendly

You might be surprised, but custom earplugs are more cost-effective than disposable options. Let’s suppose you wear earplugs for work, 5 days a week for 52 weeks per year. At $.20 each that adds up to more than $50 per year! Given that the price of custom earplugs is around $150, you can see the cost savings over time. And they’re eco-friendly. That’s a lot of ear plugs that won’t end up in a landfill.

Perfect fit means best sound reduction

For those who are going to loud environments such as a shooting range or an Indy car race, it is vital to have an earplug that provides the greatest sound reduction possible to prevent hearing loss and/or tinnitus. A custom earplug does this because it is a perfect fit to your ear. For those who have a history of chronic ear infections or tubes, or who have eardrum perforations, it is imperative to have a properly fitting earplug to prevent water from getting in and causing an infection. Custom swim plugs float, offer an excellent fit and are a great option that are also available at our office. 

For those who appreciate music, custom ear plugs with filters can help preserve the integrity of music through high-fidelity filters that reduce the “noise” and allow the music to come through. They help retain sound quality while lowering the volume of your surroundings.

Quick and comfortable

Perhaps the biggest advantage custom designs have over off-the-shelf earplugs is the comfort. Properly placing a foam earplug can sometimes be difficult and tedious. Using something custom ensures a quick and proper fit because they’re especially designed for you, not mass-produced at a factory. This makes them ideal for musicians, swimmers, light sleepers, or anyone who needs a comfortable, custom fit. For children or people with small ear canals, they’ll stay in place. No more pop-out plugs!

There are numerous different types of earplugs that we can make or order at our office, whether it be for work, lifestyle, or recreation. Please contact audiology with any questions – we’re happy to help! 

To schedule a hearing check or to be fitted for custom ear plugs, call 773-296-5500.

Woman Loses Sound of Men’s Voices: A Closer Look at Hearing Loss

You may have heard the recent story of a woman from Xiamen, China, who woke up one morning recently to find that she could not hear her boyfriend’s voice. In fact, she couldn’t hear any male voice—her ears suddenly could only register frequencies that were at a woman’s average pitch or higher. “Talk about selective hearing!” says Dr. Brittany Beeg, an audiologist at Chicago ENT. “What a funny world we would live in if hearing loss would only select for certain voices!”  Continue reading Woman Loses Sound of Men’s Voices: A Closer Look at Hearing Loss

Can Fireworks Really Lead to Hearing Loss?

The Fourth of July is a fun-filled day spent with family and friends. The scent of burgers cooking on the grill perfumes the entire neighborhood. The look of amazement on everyone’s face is priceless when fireworks light up the night sky. There is something about the red, white and blue starburst that keeps our eyes aimed at the sky while oohing and aahing. However, did you know that those beautiful and colorful fireworks can be extremely harmful to your hearing? Continue reading Can Fireworks Really Lead to Hearing Loss?

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Is Technology Causing Hearing Loss?

Modern technology has helped make our lives much easier- from futuristic voice recognition devices to top-of-the-line snow blowers and lawn mowers. But is all this technology causing people ages 20-69 to suffer from hearing loss? Well, the answer is “yes”! Our current sources of entertainment and machinery, designed to do most of the heavy work, is causing most Americans to lose a significant amount of hearing. Continue reading May is Better Hearing and Speech Month