A lot of types of hearing loss are preventable if suitable safety measures are taken. Your hearing will likely decline as you get older, but you can avoid this happening sooner if you take precautions. Using hearing protection when exposed to loud noises can help preserve the delicate parts of your inner ear. You should consider hearing protection, even if you are not regularly exposed to loud noises. Even quieter noises over a longer period can cause hearing damage. If you are unsure about the kind of hearing protection you should use, a consultation with your audiologist can help you determine the right kind for you. Here are some quick tips to help you make the right decision.

Understanding product ratings

When choosing a form of hearing protection, it is important to understand the noise reduction rate (NRR) or single number rating (SNR) rating associated with that piece of protection. NNR lets you know how many decibels you will be protected against. If you are in an environment where the noise level reaches 100dB and your hearing protection has an NRR rating of 33dB, you will still be exposed to 87dB of noise. In contrast to the NRR rating, the SNR rating (single number rating) will let you know how effective the protection will be. It works in a similar way to subtract the rating number from the decibel level to know the amount of exposure you will have.

Properly fitting hearing protection

Your hearing protection will only work effectively if it fits you properly. If you are using ear muffs, then they need to be big enough to fit over your entire outer ear. If they are too big, they may slip off and allow noise to damage your ears. Finding some that are large enough to fit your ears while still staying snug is the key. If you are using ear protection that fits your ear, like earplugs, they also need to be correctly placed. They need to completely seal the ear canal while still being comfortable. If they do not completely seal off the ear canal, then then they will not protect your ears from harsh noises. By making sure that the hearing protection you choose fits correctly, you will be able to protect your hearing.

Speak to an audiologist

While you may have a good idea about the kind of hearing protection you should use and how to find the best fit, it can still benefit you to talk to an audiologist. They have equipment and expertise to help you locate the best way to protect your hearing. Because they know the risks associated with the kind of environment in which you work or spend your time, they can make recommendations that will benefit you immensely. They will not only be able to tell you the kind of hearing protection that will work the best, but they will also let you know what NRR and SNR rating it should have as well as helping you find the best size to suit your individual needs.