Hearing Protection Considerations And How to Best Look After Your Hearing

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Hearing Protection Function Exposure to loud noise may cause a temporary hearing loss as well as a slight permanent hearing loss Earplugs or ear muffs should be worn to protect hearing when exposed to noise exceeding 85 decibels.

A chain saw produces noise of 1 10 to 1 15 decibels Mechanized tree planters or wood chippers generate noise of 105 decibels Description A variety of earplugs are available. Disposable plugs are designed to be worn only a few times Reusable plugs may have flanges or small sacks filled with silicone synthetic rubber or expandable polyfoam Some earplugs consist of moulded rubber ear plugs attached to a headset Custom moulded plugs are fitted to an individual’s ears Viscous silicone or a plastic moulding compound is poured into the ear canal and is allowed to set The fitting is difficult and should only be done by a trained technician Ear muffs are generally more effective than earplugs They may be attached to headsets or hardhats.

They consist of a soft rubber foam cushion or liquid seals and a plastic cup containing sound deadening insulation. Some ear muffs have headphones for radio communication or listening. Operation Earplugs are rolled together and inserted in the ear where they expand to fill the entire cavity Reusable plugs must be kept clean Ear muffs are held in place by the headset which may be placed over the head behind the head or under the chin. Some ear muffs are held by clips on a hardhat the most effective protection is to use both plugs and muffs. Ear muffs alone are very effective. Moulded plugs and reusable plugs also supply sufficient protection. Disposable plugs are least effective.

However each type of protection offers advantages in particular situations. The best hearing protection is provided by devices that are consistently used. Earplugs attached to a headset. Advantages Hearing protectors minimize damage to the hearing system. Disposable plugs are useful when only temporary protection is needed Reusable plugs may prove useful for brief periods of protection over a period of time.

Custom fitted plugs provide comfortable protection when exposed to constant noise Ear muffs provide excellent protection from very loud noises and can be removed easily. Disadvantages Earplugs easily become dirty If reusable plugs are not properly cleaned they may cause ear infection Some types of hearing protectors may prove uncomfortable or annoying to certain individuals Ear muffs are more cumbersome than plugs. Most hearing protectors reduce the volume of both background noise and desired noise equally

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