Nobile Hearing Aid Center

Understanding Different Types of Ear Protection

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Woman with Earplugs

The sounds that we hear are measured in decibels and the higher the decibel, the louder the sound. Some people either can’t hear those sounds at the top end of the decibel ladder, and others are far too sensitive to those sounds. Any hearing healthcare professional will tell you that you should be staying away from sounds that are too loud, because of the damage that it could cause to your hearing.

Wearing the right ear protection can help to reduce your exposure to high decibel levels, and if you are exposed to sounds that are above 85 decibels, you put your hearing at risk. Choosing to wear the right ear protection can ensure that you don’t end up with damage in the inner ear. This type of damage can cause irreversible issues with your hearing and you are the person that can prevent this from happening. Below, you’ll find the different types of ear protection that are available to you, with how they can help your hearing.

Disposable earplugs

This type of ear protection is important to a lot of people. There are those that wear these to catch a good night of sleep, and there are those who wear earplugs in line with their job. Construction workers, musicians and those who are in loud environments with their career often purchase cheap disposable earplugs to make life more bearable while they are in the course of their job. Others choose to use them for sleep. They’re used very often by light sleepers who have to deal with traffic noise and even snoring from a sleeping partner. They are made of soft foam or silicone and there are different sizes and shapes to pick from. They should only be worn once or twice before being thrown away.

  • Foam earplugs are compressed and squeezed, and then put into the ears where they expand to block the hearing.
  • Silicone earplugs have a stacked shape and slide into the ear canal. These aren’t great for sleeping as they don’t squish down, but they’re great for music events and construction sites.

Custom-fit earplugs

These don’t need to be thrown out after a few uses and are, in fact, made by a hearing healthcare professional. They’ll take an impression of the ear and create the earplugs and if you have to wear them on a regular basis, they are a cost effective option.


Some people aren’t comfortable wearing anything inside the ear canal but earplugs aren’t the only option. Earmuffs will block loud noises right out and they’re useful for wear in a place with loud noise, like a shooting range. They aren’t worn permanently, but they can be removed and worn again repeatedly.

Knowing the different types of ear protection can better equip you to cope with managing your hearing loss and exposure to loud noise. Having a chat with your hearing healthcare professional can be the step you need to take to look after your hearing.