Sound Advice

Noise Levels and Exposure (Noise Reduction Rating)

March 16, 2022

Noise Levels and Exposure

Noise reduction headphones are rated in decibels (dB). Before discussing the noise reduction rated values it is important to understand how noise is measured and how to identify, based on those measurements, when hearing protection is required. Noise is measured in units of sound pressure levels called decibels (dB). Typically, an “A” weighted filter is applied to the measurement, dB(A), because it provides measurements that more accurately represent the sensitivity of the human auditory system by de-emphasizing sound energy in the low and high frequencies in comparison to energy in the mid-frequency range.

high noise

What is NRR NOISE REDUCTION RATING (NRR)

A Noise Reduction Rating, also sometimes referred to under the umbrella term of “hearing protection rating,” can be a confusing concept for individuals who are just starting out in the world of hearing protection terminology. To keep it simple, Noise Reduction Ratings are a set of “rules” that are set in place to serve as an absolute point of reference for those who are serious about protecting worker hearing. The NRR essentially functions as a “ruler” that measures how well a particular piece of hearing protection or equipment may work in real-time and space.

Why NRR matters NOISE REDUCTION RATING (NRR)

When it comes to assessing the effectiveness of hearing protection, Specialists often look at the Attenuation Estimation Systems. NRR is a common method (rating) used to determine the attenuation (expressing values of noise reduction or attenuation provided by different types of hearing protectors). The values range from 0 to approximately 30, with higher values indicating greater amounts of noise reduction.

Since the NRR is based on laboratory testing, it does not consider the loss of protection that occurs when hearing protectors are not fit properly or when they are not worn for the entire time that the wearer is exposed to noise.

Learn More about NRR: https://www.protectear.com/field_attenuation_estimation_systems.


#CPE #Customprotectear #hearing #hearingprogram #nrr #noisereductionrating #attenuation #hearinnoise

 

Happy Labor from ProtectEar USA

September 4, 2020

From all of us at  Protect Ear USA, we wish you a Safe and Happy Labor Day weekend.

PLUS – do not forget – wear all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment, especially your hearing protectors.

 

labor day

“On Labor Day, stop and smell the barbecue. Relax by the pool, and enjoy the last days of summer with those who motivate you to give your best at work all the time. Happy Labor Day to you and yours!”

Thank you!
The PEUS Team

March is Hearing Loss Prevention Safety month.

March 23, 2020

Occupational hearing loss is the most common work-related injury in the United States.  Approximately 22 million U.S. workers exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, and an additional 9 million exposed to ototoxic chemicals.


An estimated $242 million is spent annually on worker’s compensation for hearing loss disability.

NIOSH recommends that all worker exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss. NIOSH also recommends a 3 dBA exchange rate so that every increase by 3 dBA doubles the amount of the noise and halves the recommended amount of exposure time.

  • Four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise. Ten million people in the U.S. have a noise-related hearing loss. Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year.
  • In 2008, approximately 2 million U.S. workers were exposed to noise levels at work that put them at risk of hearing loss.
  • In 2007, approximately 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment.
    Reported cases of hearing loss accounted for 14% of occupational illness in 2007.
  • In 2007, approximately 82% of the cases involving occupational hearing loss were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector.

Over the past few decades, much has been learned about the implementation of hearing loss prevention programs. The eight components of a successful hearing loss prevention program include:

1) noise exposure monitoring,

2) engineering and administrative controls,

3) audiometric evaluation,

4) use of hearing protection devices,

5) education and motivation

6) record keeping,

7) program evaluation, and

8) program audit.

ISO 9001

Don’t forget to do your part to promote awareness about Hearing Loss Prevention Safety Month!


SOURCE

Acknowledgments to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/

Why more companies and individuals are choosing custom hearing protection!

Many people use ear plugs for different reasons. While some people need ear plugs to be able to sleep well, others need them due to workspace loud noise. Even others need to use ear plugs when they swim, to prevent earaches or swimmer’s ear. Some use them simply because they want to enjoy listening to music with no outside noise interference. No matter which category fits your needs, ear plugs can work well for these different situations.

However, there are many different types of ear plugs and they don’t all work the same way or even how you may anticipate they work. One of the main reasons why most people purchase earplugs is to protect their hearing. This is a good thing. However, with so many earplug options out there, it may be difficult to identify the best ones for you. It is important to consider the differences between custom ear plugs and disposable ear-plugs.

What Is A Custom-Molded Ear plug?

dB Blockers™ are a custom-molded earplug is made in a laboratory. A mold is taken of each ear using silicone. dB Blocker™ personalized custom earplugs are made with medical grade silicone material providing a finished product that allow dB Blocker™ earplugs to easily insert into the ear and comfortably, fully fit the ear canal. When the ear or the ear canal slightly changes by talking, chewing, yawning, etc., dB Blockers™ will adapt to the movement.

One of the most recognized and worn custom hearing protection in North America is the dB Blocker™.  dB Blockers™ are hearing protectors made to fit the individual’s ear exactly, giving the wearer a custom fit earplug that can be worn all day long, while receiving “REAL WORLD” (what the wearer actually receives) attenuation.

What Is A Disposable Ear plug?

Unlike the custom ear plugs, disposable ear plugs are usually made with foam. These kinds of ear plugs can be used once or more times, depending on the manufacturer.

Benefits of dB Blockers over Disposables

dB Blockers™

  • dB Blockers™ hearing protectors fit each employee exactly – eliminating ear pressure
  • Enhance communication in noise on the phone or in conversation
  • Allows the employee to hear warning sounds
  • SkinSoft™ hypoallergenic, non-flammable silicone blend

Disposable Earplugs

  • The fit and level of protection will be different for every employee
  • Removal of the hearing protection is required to communicate
  • Prone to ear infections and flammable
  • Disposable earplugs swell when in contact with water or perspiration
  • Since the hearing protection required varies from worker to worker, some may feel cut off and expose them to greater risk or injury

Why Should You Choose Custom Ear Plugs Instead Of Disposable Ear Plugs?

Custom ear plugs have many advantages when compared to the disposable ear plugs. Despite they also have some disadvantages as everything, the risk-reward is much better when you choose to go with the custom ones.

Protect Ear

Custom Ear Plugs Advantages:

  • Quality:

Since the custom-molded ear plugs are created with the use of molds of the ears and ear canals, this brings additional quality to this product. They are usually able to cancel the noise and prevent the swimmer’s ear much more effectively than the disposal ear plugs.

  • Material:

The soft silicone is usually the best material in what concerns ear plugs. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t foam ear plugs that work well. However, when you have a silicone ear plug, they usually last much longer if you follow the manufacturer instructions. Usually, when you need to clean the ear plug, all that it takes are a few seconds under warm water.

  • Size:

One of the best advantages is that when you buy a custom ear plug, you can be sure that it will fit your ear and ear canal. Even if you have an ear with an unusual shape due to a surgery, disease, or trauma, they will more likely fit you and comply with their purpose.

Normal custom-molded ear plugs are able to provide a Noise Reduction Rating of between 25 to 30 dB. However, some more expensive models can include filters that allow you to increase the NRR. For example, if your work on a very noisy environment like a construction site, for example, you can add the filter to make sure you are able to work without hurting your hearing.

  • Comfort:

Custom-molded ear plugs are much more comfortable than the disposable ear plugs. Since they were made based on the ear and ear canal, you won’t feel any pressure. All that you’ll feel is the same as when you’re using a watch or a ring.

dbblocker
  • Putting Them On And Taking Off:

One of the main problems people have when they’re using a custom-molded ear plug is how to properly put them on and take them off. Since you’ll need to do some rotations, it might be a little hard on the first few times. However, manufacturers usually deliver all the instructions you need and you’ll be able to learn them very quickly.

  • Price:

Usually, there’s a tendency for the custom-molded ear plugs to be more expensive than the disposable ear plugs. However, you need to look at both the price and time they will last. And when you compare both features, you’ll realize that from a environmental, comfort and cost perspective you will see that the custom hearing protectors out way disposable hearing protectors.

Learn how you can get a pair of dB Blockers! 

 

Tone down loud jobs to save your hearing!

March 12, 2020

Is your work environment too loud?

If you have to raise your voice to speak to someone three feet away, noise levels may be above 85 decibels, which can be troublesome, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Noise may be a workplace problem if you hear ringing or humming in your ears when you leave work; if you have to shout to be heard by co-workers; or experience hearing loss when leaving work.”

 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offers a downloadable “Sound Level Meter App” for mobile iOS devices that measures workplace sound levels, and provides “noise exposure parameters” to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss. Download App. 

Audiologist Dr. Susan Rogan, Susan Rogan Hearing, who practices in LaGrange Park, advises employees to protect their ears by wearing ear plugs or noise-reducing headphones.  Limit exposure to loud environments, and position yourself away from any amplified sound when possible.

Extremely loud sounds, even for a short period of time, can cause permanent hearing loss to the sensitive inner ear, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders:

“Your distance from the source of the sound, and the length of time you’re exposed to the sound are important to protecting your hearing.  Noise induced hearing loss can be immediate or it can take a long time to be noticeable.  It can be temporary or permanent, and affect one or both ears.  Avoid noises that are too loud, too close, or for too long.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to have a hearing conservation program in place if workers are exposed to loud noises, and to provide hearing protection, information, and training.

CPE hearing

Hearing Conservation Programs

Hearing conservation programs strive to prevent initial occupational hearing loss, preserve and protect remaining hearing, and equip workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to safeguard themselves.

Employers are required to measure noise levels; provide free annual hearing exams, hearing protection, and training; and conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use (unless changes made to tools, equipment, and schedules result in worker noise exposure levels that are less than the 85 dBA). Research indicates that workplaces with appropriate and effective hearing conservation programs have higher levels of worker productivity and a lower incidence of absenteeism.

Based on these facts/ stats the industry is seeing a shift from disposable hearing protection to custom hearing protection. The benefits for both the wearer and the employer out way disposable ear plugs – they are:

Cost

Products like dB Blockers™ are much less expensive to use than disposable earplugs or muffs. The employer will save up to 60% over 5 years on a program when an entire facility is fit. The cost per month for dB Blockers™ is lower because you can wear them for 5 years.

Protect Ear

Comfort

Also, dB Blockers™ are hearing protection products made to fit the individual’s ear exactly, this gives the worker a custom hearing protector (earplug) that they can wear all day long.

Compliance

CPE pouch

One of the problems of any hearing loss prevention program is getting people to wear hearing protection products and policing their use. However, with dB Blockers™ this is easy because if they are comfortable. Because they are custom molded, they only fit the correct way, like a key in a lock so it is not necessary to check insertion.

Communication

The proprietary frequency tuned filter allows communication without removal. People can communicate in noise better while wearing their dB Blockers™ hearing protection than if they were to remove them. Your hearing loss prevention program will not interfere with productivity.

Environment / Social Impact

Lastly disposables are non recycle-able or compostable so they leave a dent in the environment. Custom hearing products are made to last and will not leave a negative impact on our environment.

Learn more – Get Fitted for your own pair of Custom Hearing Protection


SOURCE

Susan Rogan Hearing : 419 N. La Grange Road, La Grange Park, IL 60526 : 708.588.0155 :www.susanroganhearing.com.  (This new Downers Grove location is coming soon:  1501 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, IL 60515 : 630.969.1677)

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

2020 International Women’s Day #BecauseOfYou

March 5, 2020

March 8, 2020 is International Women’s Day

#becauseofyou

Empowering women and girls to equally participate in economic, social and political life benefits people of all genders. It increases economic prosperity, promotes peace and security, upholds fairness and justice in our society, and ultimately creates happier and healthier communities.

Join us in celebrating this year’s theme #BecauseOfYou, which pays tribute to the diverse and inspirational gender equality change-makers we know in our own lives.

This International Women’s Day:

  • Tell us about your family members, colleagues, friends, mentors and community leaders who are helping advance gender equality using the hashtag #BecauseOfYou
  • Start a conversation with our social media shareables on your networks and channels using the hashtag #BecauseOfYou
  • Follow us on Twitter or Instagram
  • Take part in an International Women’s Day event in your community
  • Learn more about the challenges facing women around the world
  • Donate your time to a local, national or international organization that supports women and gender equality
  • Talk with men and boys about their role as advocates and allies for gender equality
  • Send a postcard to a trailblazer who inspires you

This International Women’s Day is about shining a light on grassroots efforts to advance gender equality in communities across the country and honouring Canadians who are finding powerful ways, both big and small, to drive positive change right at the source.

Custom Protect Ear and Protect Ear USA celebrate the women that are our partners, employees, vendors and colleagues. Our company is comprised of women from all different walks of life, and we appreciate their contribution to both the company and the community.

Please take a moment over the next few days to cherish and embrace the women that have helped, influenced, or mentored you in any way shape or form!  #BecauseOfYou


Source

https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/iwd-jif/theme-en.html

March 3, 2020 – World Hearing Day

March 2, 2020

What is World Hearing Day

World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. Each year, the World Health Organization decides the theme and develops a brochure on the topic based on the best available evidence as well as advocacy materials such as posters, banners, infographics and presentations, among others.

World Hearing Day 2020

Hearing for Life: don’t let hearing loss limit you!

On World Hearing Day 2020, WHO will highlight that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential. It will draw attention to the options available in this respect.

World Hearing Day

Key messages for World Hearing Day 2020:

  • At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world.
  • For those who have hearing loss, appropriate and timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication.
  • Globally, there is lack of access to interventions to address hearing loss, such as hearing aids. Learn more about hearing loss prevention
  • Early intervention should be made available through the health systems similar to ProtectEar dB Cares program.

At its headquarters in Geneva, WHO organizes an annual World Hearing Day seminar. In recent years, an increasing number of Member States and other partner agencies have joined World Hearing Day by hosting a range of activities and events in their countries. WHO invites all stakeholders to join this global initiative.


Learn more: https://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/world-hearing-day/en/

New law allowing motorcyclists to wear earplugs – Ohio

February 26, 2020

DeWine, Ohio signs law allowing motorcyclists to wear earplugs

motorcycle riders

Some riders didn’t know that it is currently illegal to use earplugs when they ride

This summer, motorcycle riders will legally be able to use earplugs when they ride in Ohio. The new law goes into effect in 90 days.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law Friday that allows for the use of earplugs or earphones for hearing protection. Devices that provide entertainment will still be prohibited.​ Some riders didn’t know that it is currently illegal to use earplugs when they ride. They say they use earplugs to lower the decibel level assaulting their hearing as they ride.​

Noise impact on Motorcycle Riders

Several things contribute to the noise riders have to deal with, including the engine and exhaust systems of the bike. While they are traveling, the sound of the air passing by their ears creates noise as well.​ Those that use earplugs said wearing them helps them hear better than they would without using the devices. They claim to be able to hear low bass and high treble sounds easier.​

dB All Sport™ for Motorcycle Riders 

Protect Ear’s dB All Sport™ lets you hear the full range of your recording even at highway speeds.

This ear protector is built for the rider who wants to listen to their digital music player or radio, All Sport™ is the ideal way to take your tunes on the road. All Sport™ is a headset that connects to your digital music player and is specially designed to work in the harsh environment bikers endure. Wind noise, bike rumble, and traffic sounds compound to make listening to radio or music a challenge while riding.

The All Sport™ uses dB Blocker® Technology giving you extremely comfortable isolation from wind noise, bike growl and the quality music sounds of specially tuned dual stereo transducers. The sound reaches the protector through sound tubes that pass over the ear. This over-the-ear design allows for use with either full face or 1/2 shell helmets. It also allows for your All Sport™ to be easily repaired if you damage them. Learn more about the All Sport.

motorcycle riders

Riders who’ve been using earplugs for years say this bill is long overdue and is appreciated.​ When DeWine was asked if he was interested in pursuing a helmet law next, he told reporters he was not going to talk about that at the current time.​

 


Source

February is American Heart Month

February 18, 2020

Your heart and ears have a lot in common. Love them both during American Heart Month.

People tend to take matters of the heart very seriously and they tend to brush off hearing loss as inconsequential. But the truth is, your heart and ears have a lot more in common than most people realize.

 

In fact, decades of research point to a link between cardiovascular and hearing health.

Specifically, Raymond H. Hull, PhD, professor of communication sciences and disorders in audiology and neurosciences at Wichita State University, and Stacy R. Kerschen, AuD, conducted an analysis of 84 years of work from scientists worldwide on the link between cardiovascular health and the ability to hear and understand what others are saying. Their work, which reviewed 70 scientific studies, confirmed a direct link. The findings of their analysis also suggest that hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease.

“Our entire auditory system, especially the blood vessels of the inner ear, needs an oxygen-rich nutrient supply,” says Hull. “If it doesn’t get it due to cardiovascular health problems, then hearing can be affected.”

Other research suggests that hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease in seemingly healthy middle-aged people, and even found that hearing loss is common in people in their forties.

David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, went so far as to conclude from his study that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered.

He explains the heart-hearing link like this:

“The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.”

Other experts find the evidence so compelling they say the ear may be a window to the heart and encourage collaboration among hearing care providers, cardiologists, and other healthcare professionals.

5 random things your heart and ears have in common

  1. Someone with heart disease is at a higher risk of depression—and someone with unaddressed hearing loss is at a higher risk of depression. But BHI research shows that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic and feel engaged in life.
  2. Exercise is good for your heart—and exercise is good for your ears. One study found that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women.
  3. Smoking hurts your heart—and it’s really bad for your ears too. Research shows that both smokers and passive smokers are more likely to suffer hearing loss.
  4. Your heart and ears love omega-3 fatty acids. Research found that regular fish consumption and higher intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women.
  5. Obesity puts people at risk for heart disease—and it affects hearing function. A number of studies show a link between obesity and hearing loss. One looked at women (18 to 40 years old) and found a link. Another uncovered a connection between higher BMI and a larger waist circumference, and hearing loss in women.

Source

Article from: www.betterhearing.org

Valentines Day – Love your Hearing!

February 14, 2020

Your ears deserve attention. After all, hearing is one of your most important senses and if you think about it, hearing connects us to the world

Our ears allow us to stay safe in our environment. Hearing the blast of a horn, loud crash or even the drop of a glass causes us to make choices. What if you missed hearing something important?

What if you missed part of a conversation and when you attempted to fill in the blanks, came up with a totally different meaning that affected a future event or decision? It happens. We hear these stories every day.

We also see people who deny that they have a problem with their hearing. We understand that. If you don’t know what you are missing, it makes perfect sense to believe you are not missing anything.

If your friends and family tell you that the TV Is too loud, if you find yourself asking people to repeat what is said, or if you notice that it is more difficult understanding while dining out, do yourself a favor and get your hearing checked.

Your hearing matters love your hearing

Of all the five senses, our hearing is perhaps the most precious. If we lose it, we lose contact with the people we love and the world around us. Learn more about hearing.

Life is full of surprises and it’s best not to miss a moment.


From all of us at Custom Protect Ear – Happy Valentines Day!