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What are the Different Forms of Ear Protection?

Man with Earmuffs

Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions in the world, particularly for those over the age of 65 – and as a result, hearing loss is often associated with aging alone. However, there are other causes of hearing loss, with exposure to loud noise usually the most concerning.

We are all surrounded by loud noise every day; even simple acts such as using a hairdryer or vacuuming cross the “safe” decibel threshold. What’s more, attending a concert or even going to work can lead to excessive exposure to potentially problematic levels of sound. Volume is everywhere in the modern world, and avoiding it can be next to impossible – which is potentially bad news for those seeking to protect their hearing throughout life.

Thankfully, there is a solution: you can use ear protection when engaged in noisy activities, or attending loud event venues, to protect your hearing. Here are a few options you may want to consider.

Foam earplugs

Foam earplugs are one of the most popular types of ear protection, helping to muffle sound and thus protect your hearing. You can usually buy earplugs from drug stores or online pharmacies, though it’s essential to be cautious of quality; lower-quality foam earplugs can irritate some individuals. While foam earplugs can be useful for specific tasks, the fact that each plug is only suitable for single use is far from ideal, and more long-term solutions are often preferred.

Silicon plugs

Silicon plugs are a viable alternative to foam plugs; they are a little more robust, and some people find them to be more comfortable. Some types of silicone earplugs are only designed to be used once, though others are reusable provided they are thoroughly cleaned after every use. However, silicon plugs should be used with caution; they are designed to cover the auditory canal rather than being inserted into the ear, which can mean that they are more liable to fall out.


Earmuffs cover the ear completely, with a headband attaching the two separate cups for security, which makes them an excellent alternative for individuals who dislike wearing an earplug close to the ear canal. One of the biggest advantages of earmuffs is that they are reusable, which means that investing in a pair can ensure your hearing is adequately protected for many years to come.


For those in need of long-lasting hearing protection, otoplastics are usually the most popular choice. Otoplastics are custom-designed to suit the individual and can be used repeatedly, often for several years. For people working in noisy environments, who regularly attending concerts, or simply wanting to enjoy the benefits of customized ear protections, otoplastics are likely to be the best choice.

What type of hearing protection is right for you?

Deciding which type of ear protection is suitable for you requires the insight of a professional. It is, therefore, best to speak to your audiologist for further guidance on which type of ear protection is most suitable for both your lifestyle and your preferences, which allows you to be confident of finding an ear protection method that is ideally suited to your needs.