Making Decisions About Home Care

Protect Your Ears With the Right Earplugs

by Mae Ferguson

If you have to live or work in a location that inevitably exposes you to loud noises, you will need to either get earplugs or some other form of protection. But not all earplugs will properly fit your ears and not all earplugs are designed specifically to protect you from loud sounds. Therefore, you will need to choose the right kind of earplugs.

The Ratings

Earplugs come with ratings that explain how well they will block sound. However, these are not necessarily accurate because they are evaluated based on lab tests rather than based on personal experience.

Expandable Earplugs

Expandable earplugs are the most likely to properly conform to the inner shape of your ears, creating a tight seal that can block outside noises. They are compressed when they are inserted and then expand when they are inside the ear.

Custom-Molded Silicone Earplugs

Another option is to have custom-made earplugs made specifically for your ears. These are made from silicone and are capable of completely blocking outside sounds. However, both the foam and silicone plugs are meant to be disposable.


If you are concerned with blocking sound completely, you should choose earmuffs. If you are exposed to extreme noise, you may want ear muffs that have very large ear cups with extra material contained within. They can block out sound, but some complain that they can be very hot. The most high-tech ear muffs will also have electronic components designed to block out sound. The earmuffs can be used until they wear down and are not intended to be disposable. Make sure that they are placed properly over your ears so there are no openings.

Hearing Aids

Even with the right protection, your hearing may still diminish over the years. It's not always clear when it is time to get hearing aids, so you should consider visiting an audiologist, such as Barth Craig T Ma CCC-a, to get a hearing test. The audiologist will not only help you determine whether you need hearing aids, but the best type for your level of hearing loss. If you frequently wear earplugs, you may not need hearing aids that are as powerful or large. The type of hearing aids that you choose will be based not only off how well they will allow you to hear, but also how visible they are. Some of the smallest hearing aids eliminate the sensation of the ear being full, which makes the hearing aids more comfortable.