How Do I Know If I Need Ear Protection?
The only way to know for certain if you need ear protection from noise is to wear a dosimeter. This is a device which measures both the intensity and duration of noise exposure.
A simpler method is to use a chart like the one displayed above.
If you experience any of the following while in noise or after being in noise, then you likely have been exposed to hazardous noise levels.
- You have to shout to be heard.
- It’s hard to hear someone at arm’s length from you.
- You have pain, ringing, buzzing or other sounds in your ears.
- Normal speech sounds muffled or dull.
Conventional Foam Earplugs
Foam earplugs have been around since the 1970’s. Some problems with them include:
- They fit many ears but can be uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time
- They take time to roll down before they can be inserted
- They can be difficult to remove if placed too deep
- They are ineffective if placed too shallow
- They cannot be cleaned if they get dirty.