Thoughts on Hearing Protection

37% of hearing loss in Australia is caused by noise exposure but just what is the role of noise in causing hearing loss?

The question is how do you protect your hearing?

1) How loud is too loud?

The easiest way to know if you should be using hearing protection is :

If someone a  metre away has to raise their voice so you can hear them then the sound is too loud

2) What is the best type of hearing protection?

The right type of hearing protection is not about getting the strongest ear protection available but is about choosing the right type of hearing protection for your particular situation. Over protection is just as dangerous as under protection. A google search will bring up many online sites selling a dazzling array of ear protection, however making a choice is not simple.  The recommendation is that you ask a person who is qualified to give appropriate advice.  They will assess the following factors:

  • level and type of noise you need protection against
  • how long you will be exposed on average each day
  • what you need to hear
  • the physical shape of your ear and ear canal.

Customized devices are the best option for those who need comfortable hearing protection and require the best outcome.

Click here to view an online store that carries a wide range of off the shelf hearing protection devices.

3) The biggest question asked about wearing hearing protection

How will I hear what is important for me to hear while wearing Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs)?

Here’s what we know

  • HPDs have little or no effect on the ability of those with normal hearing to understand speech in a background of moderate noise.
  • At higher noise levels like busy traffic noise, HPDs improve the understanding for normal hearing people.
  • When the noise is louder than busy traffic, HPDs begin to decrease speech understanding for both normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners.
  • When heard through HPDs, speech quality can be degraded.

It’s important to get your selection of hearing protection right.


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All information is provided in the interests of Hearing Health education and is of a general nature.

In all cases you should consult your doctor or other allied health professional for advice regarding your individual circumstances.