Selecting from the Numerous Varieties of Ear Plugs

To preserve your hearing, start with the basics – ear plugs. When these small devices are inserted into your ear canal, disruptive or dangerous sounds are blocked out. Although they seem like a simple product, there are actually many different types of ear plugs on the market. Knowing the essential differences will allow you to pick the best ones.

First of all, figure out how much noise reduction you need from your ear plugs. Take a look at the noise reduction rating (NRR) on the box to find out how much sound it cancels out: better quality plugs have a rating between 21 and 33. Figure out where and when you will use your ear plugs. Ear plugs with a lower NRR are sufficient for blocking out traffic noise or your roommate’s TV while studying. However, if your profession requires you to spend time around loud equipment or music, a higher rating is more appropriate.

The composition of your ear plugs is another important factor to consider. Foam is one of the most basic materials used in ear plugs. The foam is compressed during insertion then expands to plug the canal. Silicone ear plugs differ from foam in that they are molded over the outside of the ear canal. Both silicone and foam plugs are intended to be disposed of after several uses.

Lastly, evaluate whether you’d be better served with non-disposable, custom ear plugs. While foam and silicone ear plugs are great for casual use, certain professions and situations warrant investing in specialized ear plugs. Musicians often wear custom-made, non-disposable earplugs to help protect their hearing while they are performing. Musician plugs are custom fitted and designed to allow the artist to hear themselves while blocking out harmful noise around them.

If you have a partner who snores, you may be shopping for earplugs to wear while you are sleeping. Ear plugs for sleeping are fairly advanced. They are able to block out the sounds of snoring while permitting you to hear your alarm clock or fire alarm. Take time to test out the plugs with your head tilted to the side. You’ll want to choose a pair that fits well while lying down.

Although there are many choices of ear plugs, a little advanced planning will help you narrow in on the ideal pair.

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