REPLACING YOUR dB BLOCKERS
A question that we often get asked is “How often should I replace my dB Blocker™ Hearing Protectors”? There is no easy answer to that question because it depends on several factors:
- Your age
- Your working environment
- The amount of protection you need
- If your weight changes plus or minus 10 pounds
Audiometric and “Real World” testing indicate that the efficiency of a dB Blocker™ protector starts to drop off after 4 or 5 years of use. The dB Blocker™ itself remains soft and flexible with no change in size; however, the cartilage in our ears continues to change throughout our lifetime. These subtle changes affect the seal of the protectors.
The dB Blocker™ will still feel very comfortable and the wearer will probably think that they are still working; however, the comfort of an older protector is not a good indicator of how effective it is. It is very difficult for our ear to sense the change over time from an 85dB sound level to an 88dB sound level. So what criteria should be used for replacement?
Many companies have a policy to refit every 3 years, while others prefer every 5 years. When you consider the cost savings of our personalized hearing protectors (usually less than a 2 year payback) they are the most economical hearing protector available.
ProtectEar USA recommends that based on “Real World” testing of our dB Blockers™, they should be refit every 4 to 5 years. Wearing them beyond their fifth anniversary is not recommended. Remember, we do not ever want to substitute good hearing for the alternative of having to wear a hearing aid.