Why Should You Choose Custom-Moulded Over Disposable Earplugs?

September 25, 2012

Custom Molded Vs. Disposable Earplugs

Custom-moulded earplugs, sometimes called Personalized Hearing Protection, are just as, if not more, effective for the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss as are disposable earplugs. There have not been head-to-head studies of the relative effectiveness, but two major long-term retrospective studies of the effectiveness of hearing loss prevention programs can provide insight. Read Complete Whitepaper by Dr. John Franks.

Choose Custom-Moulded Over Disposable Earplugs Abstract

In 1989 Franks, Davis and Krieg (Franks, 1989) reported that noise-exposed employees of a company that provided Employee noise protection custom earplugs to all of its employees had changes in hearing over a ten-year period that were no different from their non-noise-exposed colleagues and peers.  The company had six facilities around the United States with noise-exposed employees as well as a cadre of employees of similar age and gender who were not exposed to workplace noise. All of the employees studied had been with the company for the ten-year period studied. Audiometric, health and hobby histories, as well as noise-exposure levels were known for all employees. A ten-year segment of the records was used for the analysis.

It was company policy to provide custom earplugs for use at work or home as well as to provide disposable earplugs to employees to use outside of work. Analysis of the data revealed that the changes in hearing that were observed were not due to exposure to workplace noise. Having resolved that and adjusting for age, statistical analysis showed hypertension and diabetes increased the propensity to have worsening hearing for women. For men, the factors were hypertension, diabetes, and use of firearms.

Read Complete Whitepaper

In 2011, Heyer, et al. (Heyer N, 2011- view abstract) reported a retrospective analysis of hearing conservation programs for three foam ear plugs different companies, all of which relied upon premoulded or slow-recovery foam disposable earplugs to protect employees from noise-induced hearing loss.

  1. > Company 1 made automobile body components,
  2. > Company 2 made automotive parts,
  3. > Company 3 was a major food processing company.


All of the employees had been at the study sites for longer than the period of time studied. Noise-exposure and hearing protector use histories were established for each employee as were audiometric records including relevant medical and hobby histories. In this study there was not a cohort of fellow non-noise-exposed employees, so the outcome was compared to a standardized set of data (American National Standards Institute, S3.44-1996 (R 2006)). The noise-exposure levels in the three companies studied were similar, as were they to the noise-exposure levels in the Franks, et al. (1989) study. Heyer, et al. found that two factors were associated with changes in hearing: age and noise-exposure level. Because of the strong effects age and noise-exposure level had on the data, it was not possible to assess the influence of other factors.

Had the pre-moulded disposable earplugs been used as effectively as the custom-moulded earplugs, then noise-exposure level should not have been a main effect associated with changes in hearing; with age factored out, noise-exposure level was as much a primary risk as would be expected for the unprotected. 

Read Complete Whitepaper by Dr. John Franks.


Oregon OSHA Noise Exposure and Hearing Conservation (PDF)

Occupational Noise: Assessing the burden of disease from work-related hearing impairment at national and local levels (PDF)

Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss – A Practical Guide (PDF)

Summer Hearing

July 1, 2012

Protect Your Hearing This Summer

NOISE TO LOUD Summer activities like concerts, swimming and diving–especially in colder waters, fireworks, and outdoor yard work like mowing can cause damage to the ears and your hearing. In order to protect your ears from permanent damage caused by summer activities, it is important to know what activities to avoid, when to wear protective earplugs, and when to see an audiologist.

Summer Sounds

The average summer sounds: boats, firecrackers and lawnmowers produce decibel levels that can increase or cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Inside the ear are small, delicate hairs that help conduct the noise that constitutes your hearing. Injury to these hair cells comes from exposure, sudden or prolonged, to loud noises like lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and fireworks at close range. Protecting hearing during these activities by wearing protective listening devices can help prevent hearing loss now and into the future.noisy fireworks

Exposure to loud noise can also cause temporary or permanent tinnitus. Tinnitus is defined as a nagging buzzing, whistling, whining, or screeching noise in head or ears that varies in intensity and can be intermittent or constant. Some tinnitus sufferers describe the noise as being as piercing and sharp as the signal used in the emergency broadcast system. An audiologist can create custom made ear protection that allows a person to hear while simultaneously protecting the ears.


Protecting your hearing this summer can be as simple as wearing custom earplugs when mowing, attending concerts, working with machinery or engaging in other noisy activities. Earplugs for water sports and activities can keep water from the ears, protecting your ears while helping to prevent your body reacting to cold water conditions through exotosis. An audiologist can provide custom fit protective molds for your ears. Custom fit means more comfort and a greater chance of use like communication, but that’s not the only reason to see an audiologist.

Regular checkups with your audiologist are as important as regular checkups with your eye doctor. Your sense of hearing is a precious gift that needs to be maintained through proper care and prevention. Summer sounds and activities damage hearing, so take precautions and see an audiologist to head off any hearing health problems before they happen.

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Connect PhoneBuddy™ to your dB Blockers.

November 18, 2011

Product Release

Surrey British Columbia, November 14th, 2011. Custom Protect Ear launches the The PhoneBuddy™, headphones that are compatible to dB Blockers and work with many Smartphones. The headphones, “The PhoneBuddy™” are available in two versions; the single and the dual.

PhoneBuddy™ I  is a single version headphone for Phone Buddy monaural use (phone calls and to just hear the phone ring in noise). The unit works with virtually any smart phone and has an inline microphone and flash button for answering the call and hanging up. 

“A BIG PLUS is you can connect your PhoneBuddy™ into your dB Blocker Convertible vented protector and hear the phone ring in noise. You still have to move to quieter places to have a conversation but you won’t miss the call, says Custom Protect Ear’s President, Jeffery Goldberg.

PhoneBuddy™ II

PhoneBuddy™ II is the stereo version. With PhoneBuddy™ II you can listen to music and answer your phone calls on most Smartphones. It also has an in-line microphone with a flash switch. When a call comes in, the phone will ring in the earpiece and the user simply switches online pokies to the phone by pressing the flash switch.  When the call concludes, the user presses the flash switch again and the music resumes playing.

What makes PhoneBuddy unique is the sound quality and the ability to use it with more than one Smartphone.  PhoneBuddy™ II also connects to dB Blocker Convertible vented protectors for use in a noisy work environment. PhoneBuddy™ I sells for $69.00 retail with discounts for commercial users. PhoneBuddy™ II sells for $125.00 retail also with discounts for commercial users.

Please contact us for more details.

Custom Protect Ear
681-7789 134th Street
Surrey, BC  V3W 9E9
Phone: 604-599-1311 x321
Toll-free: 1-800-520-0220 x321
Fax: 604-599-7377
Email: hear@protectear.com