person with a brightly colored ear plug in their ear

All About Earplugs and Hearing Protection at HearingLife

Contributed by HearingLife

11/9/2023 12:00:00 AM • 8 min read

At HearingLife, we want to help people hear better – and that means helping those who don’t have hearing loss prevent it! We offer a comprehensive range of custom hearing protection through Westone® at all our locations.

Types of Earplugs

The type of custom earplug you need depends on what you’ll primarily be using it for. While over-the-counter earplugs are usually one-size-fits-all both in fit and use, our range of options is customized to each listening situation.

Earplugs for Concerts

Earplugs made specially for attending concerts are designed to dampen loudness across the sound spectrum without sacrificing the overall experience of the music. The custom-fit Concert earplug from Westone® allows you to hear sounds accurately, just at lower volume. They can be ordered with a range of filters that dampen 9, 15 or 25 decibels of sound.

TRU® Custom Earplugs

The TRU® Custom earplug by Westone® is a great solution for concerts, travel or sporting events. Custom-made to fit comfortably and available with 4 types of filters, these earplugs are the ideal answer for the most common situations where you need hearing protection. Your choice of color and one included set of filters come with your initial purchase; additional filters available for an additional charge.

Motorcycling Ear Protection

The Motorsport earplug from Westone® is designed to be worn under a helmet to reduce wind buffeting. Custom-made, it is comfortable to wear and easy to remove.

Hunting Ear Protection

We offer a full range of ear protection for hunters and recreational shooters. When a low number of shots are fired, the DefendEar® Passive is appropriate. It allows for awareness and tracking dog sounds, as well as easier communication with hunting partners.

For more complex environments, like the shooting range, or those desiring more advanced features, you can opt for the DefendEar® Digital lineup, which are custom-fit digital ear protection devices designed for shooters and hunters.

Swimming Earplugs

We offer the Surfer earplug by Westone® as an option to protect the ears from cold water when swimming, but also allow for conversation. Wearing earplugs when swimming in cold water is crucial for preventing the bony growths that are caused by surfer’s ear. This condition can eventually cause ear infections and require surgery in order to prevent hearing loss.

Hearing Protection for Work

Usually, if you work in a noisy environment, such as construction, welding, landscaping or around heavy equipment, your employer will provide hearing protection for you. This is because regular exposure to loud noises will cause hearing damage over time. You may want to discuss your options for hearing protection at work with your HearingLife provider as well, since they may have options that fit your requirements but are more comfortable. 

Ear Plug Color Options

All of the custom-fit earplugs we carry are available in a range of colors, from skin tones to glitter and neon options.

Earplugs for Misophonia or Sound Sensitivity

A common marketing trend is selling earplugs made to help block out the sound of chewing or other sounds that deeply bother some people. This aversion to certain sounds is called misophonia.

Wearing earplugs for misophonia is fine for short periods of time and occasionally; however, regularly depriving your brain of sound is not recommended by experts.

“It hasn’t been studied that I know of, but it seems that regularly simulating a hearing loss would eventually lead to the same risk of cognitive decline that comes with actual hearing loss,” said HearingLife Chief Audiologist Leslie Soiles.

Dr. Soiles recommends visiting an audiologist or behavioral health specialist to help work on coping mechanisms and re-training your brain to tolerate these sounds.

Earplugs for Sensory Overload or to Help with Focusing

The idea of sensory overload – or “feeling attacked by sound,” as some describe it – is increasingly common in our noisy world. Parents are often targeted by ads for earplugs that help to dampen the sound of noisy children or crying babies, while still allowing them to hear enough to be attentive.

Again, though, this is risky if you find yourself wearing earplugs for more than an hour or so at a time. The more you deprive your brain of the sound around you, the less tolerant your brain will become to noise. Ultimately, treatment with an audiologist or behavioral therapist to find ways to tolerate sensory overload in your day-to-day life is the best approach.

If you’re interested in learning more about your custom earplug options, call us or click here to schedule an appointment at your local HearingLife office.

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