Loud sound can damage the cells in the inner ear that "hear" sound. Almost all damage to the inner ear caused by loud sound is permanent. It costs 10 times more to try to rehabilitate hearing than the cost of ear protection would have been to prevented the hearing loss. The best way to protect your ears from loud noise is to wear some form of ear protection 100% of the time you are exposed to damaging noise levels. The type of ear protection needed depends on how loud the potentially damaging noise might be.
Ear protection is recommended if you are exposed to any of the following sound levels:
90 dB for 8 hours or more
95 dB for 4 hours or more
100 dB for 2 hours or more
105 dB for 1 hour or more
Any exposure above 105 dB
The kind of ear protection needed depends on the amount of noise you are being exposed. The louder the sound, the more protection you need. Earplugs can be worn under earmuffs is noise is too loud. Ask for help determing the amount of ear protection you need for different situations.
These are the standard earplugs used by industry for years for ear protection. They may be used alone or in conjunction with standard noise-attenuating earmuffs to protect hearing.
They are Cheap and they attenuate (reduce) noise 10-15 dB.
They can be purchased at drugstores, hardware stores, and sporting goods stores.
Electronic Stereo Ear Protection is recommended when there is sudden impact noise the timing of which cannot be predicted. It is very useful for industrial/construction/commercial workers and supervisors who need to hear speech in the presence of noise. Soft sounds are amplified at lower sound levels so you can hear speech and softer sounds while still wearing the headphones. When noise gets loud enough for you to need ear protection, the headphones electronically turn on their sound protection. It automatically shuts off when the loud sound stops. It is a good way to protect your ears if you shoot guns of any kind, either on a range or outdoors hunting. The rustling of leaves can still be heard, but you are protected when either you or your hunting partners suddenly shoots a gun.
Effectively amplify a
full range of audible sounds and conversation.Designed
primarily to be used around impact noises (jackhammers, loud
machinery of all types, gunfire, etc).Allows you to localize
(stereo) information that may not be heard with traditional
hearing protection.Has a noise reduction rating (attenuation)
of 27 dB.Is known for comfort as well as superior noise attenuation.Is
a high quality electronic device.Was originally developed
and engineered for military long-range listening.Uses one
9 volt battery for about 50 hours of use.
version that can be carried in a pocket.Smaller than the Tactical
7.Has the same instant "shutdown" in the presence
if loud sound that the Tactical 7 does.Has all of the features
of the Tactical 7except that the noise reduction rating is
19 dBA (less than the Tactical 7).
Uses four AAA batteries.
Regular earmuffs have been the industry standard
for hearing protection for many years. Two models are available:
Dual shell design allows minimal
resonance and therefore maximum high-frequency attenuation.
Has 38-42 dB noise reduction at
500- 4000 Hz.
- Attenuation 28-38 dB from 500- 4000 Hz.
- Comfortabledesigned for continuous wear.