Six situations when audiologists always wear earplugs

Photo credit: Alex Urezkov

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This article on Livestrong lists six situations when audiologists always wear earplugs: attending concerts or sports events, in bars or noisy restaurants, when doing lawn work, when there’s brief, loud noise, when drying their hair, and when sleeping.

I’m not sure where Livestrong got its information from–that isn’t stated–and it’s hard to anticipate impulse noise exposure, e.g., the popping of a balloon or a construction worker starting to use a jackhammer while one is walking on the sidewalk nearby. Also, most people should be able to sleep without earplugs.

But the basic principle is sound: if something sounds loud, it’s too loud, and your auditory health is at risk.

Anticipate noise exposure. If I’m using power tools, I insert my industrial-strength earplugs with a Noise Reduction Rating of 27 before turning them on. I insert my earplugs even when hammering in one nail or cutting one piece of wood.

I always bring my industrial-strength earplugs to the movies, where the soundtracks are too loud even when watching romantic comedies, and to the few baseball and basketball games we attend. I often have less noticeable earplugs in my pocket when going to a new restaurant where I am not sure of the noise levels. If it’s noisy when my wife and I walk in, I insert them.

Don’t be shy about putting the earplugs in.

After all, it’s your ears you’re protecting, and you want them to last you your entire lifetime.

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