Custom Earmolds Part 3: Noise Protection Plugs

Loud noise exposure is the #1 cause of hearing loss in Portland patients. In fact, throughout Oregon and across the country, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is responsible for about 1 in 4 cases of hearing loss.

The good news is that NIHL is easy to prevent by using proper ear protection. Custom noise protection earplugs are the only way to ensure your ears are fully protected from damaging sounds, and they’re helpful in a variety of situations. It’s smart to always protect your ears with high-quality noise protection earplugs if there’s any risk of being exposed to loud noise.

Sounds at or over 85 decibels (dB) can cause hearing loss in Portland patients young and old. At 85 dB, exposure for 8+ hours can result in permanent hearing loss. Every 5 dB increase over 85 dB reduces the safety limit for exposure by 50%. For example, exposure to 100 dB is considered safe for up to 1 hour, but 110 dB is only considered safe for up to 15 minutes.

We recommend custom noise protection earplugs to anyone in Portland exposed to sounds over 85 dB on a regular basis. This includes:

  • Musicians—especially drummers
  • Anyone who uses firearms
  • Workers exposed to loud equipment or machinery
  • Anyone who uses power tools or a lawnmower
  • Motorcyclists or users of other open-air vehicles
  • Music enthusiasts who attend concerts
  • Live sports fans—especially at Blazers and Timbers games

We can make custom noise protection plugs in many styles. Some types, like hunter’s earmolds, come with special features. To learn more about protecting yourself from hearing loss in Portland or the types of noise protection plugs we offer at PDX ENT, call or visit one of our two Portland locations.