Your ears are as unique as your fingerprints, which is why many Pennsylvania patients choose to invest in custom earmolds for the very best protection. Custom earmolds are crafted individually for your ears and can be used for a variety of purposes such as in-the-ear hearing aids, swimmer’s earplugs, earbuds, noise protection earplugs, hunter’s earmolds and musician’s monitors.
All custom earmolds are created using a silicone mold of your ear, though each type has unique features depending on the intended use. Some custom earmolds are designed just for ear protection, while others, like musician’s earmolds, deliver high-quality sound feedback to your ears while also protecting them from damagingly loud noise. ASK Physicians Hearing Centers is home to an outstanding team of Pennsylvania hearing care providers who can create custom earmolds just for you no matter what your needs may be.
Swim plugs are specially made earplugs crafted from waterproof silicone. These plugs are designed to create a tight yet comfortable seal while preventing any water from entering the ear canal. Swim plugs can be made for Pennsylvanians of any age, and they’re a great option for kids prone to ear infections. Swimmer’s earplugs aren’t just for swimmers, either—they’re helpful for any activity in or near the water, from your daily shower to an adventurous jet-ski ride.
Some examples of activities where our patients use custom swim plugs include:
- Boating, canoeing, kayaking and rafting
- Paddle boarding and water skiing
- Swimming in pools, lakes, rivers and the ocean
- Taking baths or showers
- Visiting hair salons, tanning salons and spas
- Attending waterparks or attractions with water rides
- Going to water aerobics classes or float tanks
Custom swim plugs are the best way to protect our Pennsylvania patients from many significant problems related to the auditory system, including all types of ear infections—including swimmer’s ear—as well as a condition known as surfer’s ear.
Chronic ear infections are a serious problem for many ASK Physicians Hearing Centers patients and people across the country. In fact, ear infections cause about 25 million trips to doctor’s offices in the U.S. annually. Patients of all ages are susceptible to infections of the ear, though children are at the highest risk. Statistics show that:
- 62% of babies get an ear infection by age 1
- 80% of toddlers have had an ear infection by age 3
- Nearly 100% of children have had at least one ear infection by age 5
There are three main types of ear infections: inner, middle (acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion) and outer (otitis externa or swimmer’s ear). Ear infections can have several different causes, but water exposure is one of the most prominent. Water in the ears—combined with cold or wind—can also cause a condition called exostosis or surfer’s ear, which is an abnormal bone growth in the ear canal. This condition can result in blocked ear canals or ear infections.
If you want the best water protection available for you or your child, feel free to give us a call for more information about custom swim plugs.
Noise Protection Plugs
Exposure to loud noise is the most common cause of hearing loss among Pennsylvania patients. In fact, throughout our state and across the country, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is responsible for about 25% of all hearing impairments.
There is some good news, though: NIHL is completely and easily preventable if you properly protect your ears. Custom noise protection plugs are the best way to ensure your ears are safe from loud noise, and they are helpful in a wide variety of situations. The best rule to follow is this: Always protect your ears with high-quality noise protection plugs if there’s a risk, big or small, for loud noise exposure.
Sounds at or over 85 decibels (dB) are considered a hearing health risk. At 85 dB, exposure for eight or more hours can give you permanent hearing loss. Each five decibel increase over 85 dB reduces the safety limit for exposure by half. For example, exposure to 100 dB may be safe for up to an hour or 110 dB for up to 15 minutes. We understand that you may not always know when sounds are damaging to your ears, but we strongly encourage you to use good judgment and to try out one of the many noise meter smartphone apps anytime you’re unsure.
We recommend custom earplugs to any Pennsylvanian who is regularly or occasionally exposed to sounds over 85 dB. This includes:
- Musicians, especially drummers
- Hunters, shooters, police and military personnel
- Those who work around loud equipment or machinery
- Anyone using power tools or a lawnmower
- Motorcyclists or anyone riding open-air vehicles
- Music enthusiasts
- Live sports fans
We offer custom noise protection plugs in many styles. Some types of earplugs, like hunter’s earmolds, even come with special features that allow you to hear quieter surrounding noises while protecting you from any damagingly loud sound. If you’d like to learn more about the types of noise protection plugs we offer and how they can benefit you, please don’t hesitate to call or visit one of our offices in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Musicians have much higher rates of hearing loss and tinnitus than the average Pennsylvanian. Statistics show that musicians are about four times more likely to develop hearing loss than non-musicians, and their risk for tinnitus is nearly 60% above average. This means custom, quality hearing protection is a necessity for anyone who is regularly around loud music, speakers or drums. While noise protection plugs offer adequate protection, musician’s monitors are a special kind of custom earmold designed just for people in the music industry.
Custom musician’s earmolds perform two functions at once:
- They function as earplugs, blocking out the loud sounds from your surroundings to reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus
- They perform as earbuds, directly delivering high-quality sound monitoring feedback into your ears at a safe volume
Since musicians are often surrounded by very loud noises from drums, speakers and audiences, musician’s monitors should always be custom-made for your ears. Custom musician’s monitors provide:
- Top-notch, lasting comfort
- Complete protection from the loud noises around you
- High-quality sound delivery
- Feedback that’s always at a safe volume
Musician monitors are two-part devices. The component worn in your ear is made of a silicone noise-blocking mold, a speaker and a receiver. This receiver connects to the other part—the transmitter—which can send sound in mono or stereo and is typically placed center-stage or worn by a band’s vocalist. One transmitter can send sound to one or several receivers, so you and your band mates can all hear the same feedback through custom musician’s earplugs if preferred.
Discover how musician’s earmolds can help protect your ears by calling our Havertown or Paoli hearing clinics or scheduling an appointment with our friendly audiology staff at ASK Physicians Hearing Centers today.