Protect Your Hearing

Whether it’s game movement, trap release, or range commands, hearing is an important element of your shooting accuracy, safety and enjoyment. Our Magnum Ear™ products are designed to extend the range of your hearing, while limiting the harmful effects of muzzle blast.

Starkey now offers high performance digital technology for shooters seeking both sound amplification and hearing protection. Digital means lower noise, less feedback and the ability to tune into your surroundings while protecting your hearing. The Magnum Ear™ comes in two models that fit either ear without a special fitting, plus a custom fit model for the ultimate in comfort and convenience.

Exposure to excessive noise during work or leisure activities can increase a person’s risk of hearing loss and potentially worsen a pre-existing hearing problem. Continuous exposure to 85 decibels (dB) can have a detrimental effect on your hearing. Take for example, the noise of a street with constant heavy traffic. If the exposure to loud noise lasts for a an extended period of time, the cells responsible for our sense of hearing will be irreversibly damaged. Audiologists consider exposure to loud music, such as a rock concert or via headphones, to be particularly dangerous since the sound intensity can sometimes reach 110 – 120 dB. The traumatic effect of a sudden loud sound, like an explosion, can also permanently damage hearing.

Other activities that may cause hearing loss over time include: use of a personal radio/CD player/stereo at a high volume; use of firearms; operating heavy machinery; use of power tools. The good news is that the noise in these cases is usually easily managed by turning down the volume or by wearing ear protection. Federal regulations govern allowable noise levels in the workplace, as well as the employer’s role in providing ear protection. More information on this subject can be found at OSHA. In addition to using ear protection, those who are regularly exposed to noise should have their hearing tested.

Certain medications are toxic to the ear. If you have a hearing loss, be sure to inform your doctor of your condition before beginning any new medications. There may be instances where other medications that are not toxic to the ear can be substituted.

How loud is too loud?

A general rule of thumb is if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music/noise, it is too loud. According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, noises above 85 dB can cause hearing damage.

Ear protection

Since there is no cure for noise-induced hearing loss, prevention is the sensible alternative. Modern devices which protect your hearing such as commercially available earplugs or custom-made earmolds with various filter systems, can give effective protection against noise.

If you are exposed to continuous noise in your leisure activities or at work, contact us for advice on the latest hearing protection methods that will benefit and best suit your needs.

Is your child’s music too loud?

In recent years, growing numbers of parents and healthcare professionals have expressed concerns about the potential risk of hearing loss due to iPod and MP3 player usage in teens and young children. This concern is not without merit, considering that documented research has shown long term exposure to loud music can cause permanent damage to the sensitive structures of the inner ear. When damage occurs to the inner ear it often results in permanent hearing loss, as well as temporary or permanent tinnitus (ringing of the ears). So how can parents help minimize their children’s risk of noise-induced hearing loss, yet still allow them to listen to their favorite personal music player? The answer is KidzSafe earbuds. These amazing volume regulating earphones use advanced technology to automatically control the volume levels of audio devices in an effort to prevent hearing loss due to loud music. They are compatible with all audio devices, including iPod, Zune, and other MP3 devices, as well as portable CD or DVD players. No sacrifice in sound quality is necessary; these earphones produce the same high quality frequency response found in full size headphones.

Experts agree that listening to sound above 85 decibels is when hearing damage can begin. No matter how high the volume is turned up on the audio device, with KidzSafe earbuds the volume safely stays below 85 decibels, giving parents peace of mind.

What is custom hearing protection?

Often times when it comes to protecting our ears from dangerous levels of noise, we have limited choices on the type of hearing protection we use. Everyone’s ears are unique and a one-size fits all approach does not always work. Generic earplugs can be uncomfortable and must be inserted perfectly every time to provide the advertised level of protection. Additionally, if the earplugs are not seated properly in the ears during noisy activities, you are potentially at risk for permanent hearing loss. Having custom-fit earplugs will provide a more consistent and comfortable experience.

And for those who need to communicate while still receiving protection from harmful noise, ordinary earplugs will simply not work. For industrial workers, hunters and sport shooters, specialized filtered earplugs allow for communication while still protecting against harmful noise.

Columbia Basin Hearing Center hearing protection products are molded from an impression taken directly from your ear. They are made of fine grade silicone material and won’t shrink, tear, or crack and are non-hardening, non-absorbent, and hypoallergenic.

Our practice is excited to offer Sonic II Hearing Protectors, a specialized earplug that features a valve that closes in the presence of loud impact noise (such as gunfire), yet leaves the ear canals open when loud noise is not present and allows normal conversation to be heard. These work great for hunters and sport shooters. For industrial workers, we offer Hearsavers custom earplugs that can be fit with unique filters that allow for effective communication while also blocking out excessive environmental noise. Specialized custom plugs are even available for musicians and can be tailored for different noise reduction levels, based on the type of instrument you play or type of music you enjoy.

Because all ears are different, only custom-made hearing protection can provide a perfect fit. They are available for a variety of applications and come in a multitude of colors and styles. The professionals at Columbia Basin Hearing Center can help you find your perfect fit.

Schedule an appointment today