Noise-induced hearing loss is a significant health and economic problem in Australia, the results of which can directly affect a person’s quality of life and the quality of relationships with friends, family and co-workers. Excessive levels of noise can cause damage to the sensitive structures of the inner-ear, and it is estimated that 37% of all hearing loss in Australia is noise-induced.

Fortunately, there are several hearing protection options available to you should you work around excessive levels of noise, or enjoy noisy hobbies (e.g. playing music or motorsports). Some of these options include:

  • Custom-made noise attenuating ear plugs: These may also be referred to as ‘Musician’s Earplugs’. These ear plugs are custom made to fit your ears, and house a filter which will reduce noise to a set level which can be customised to a set level based on your preferences and for what activity you plan to use the plugs for. The accurate response of the filter means sound quality is kept relatively intact
  • Passive custom-made ear plugs: These plugs are the same as the above except do not house a filter and therefore aim to simply reduce as much noise as possible
  • Non-custom ear plugs: A relatively cost-effective option, these plugs come in a range of different sizes and are specific for certain noise environments (e.g. industrial noise)
  • Ear muffs: an excellent choice for use around any type of loud noise. Ideal for when communication isn’t necessary. Ear muffs generally provide higher levels of noise attenuation than disposable ear plugs.
  • Disposable ear plugs: Usually made of a soft foam which moulds to the shape of your ear canal. Designed to be used 1-2 times before being discarded. Some people may have trouble using these plugs due to bendy or narrow ear canals
  • Custom-made sleep plugs: these plugs are custom-made from a soft silicon material, designed to be comfortable in your ears all night long. Sleep disturbance can have a drastic impact on your quality of life, therefore sleep plugs can be incredibly useful in ensuring a good night’s rest and an alert mind and body.

If you are interested in custom-hearing protection, please see an audiologist at Victorian Hearing to discuss a tailored solution for your noisy situation. Please see the below links for further information on Hearing Conservation, or feel free to contact Victorian Hearing to discuss your situation in person.

http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/Guidance-about-noise-management-6891.aspx

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/noise

https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/physical_hazards/noise/FAQs_about_noise