Ear Protection

Here in the UK approx 10% of the population have some level of hearing loss and one in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise, which is entirely preventable.

Love your hearing

With hearing loss numbers on the rise, it’s important to know there are ways to help preserve your hearing.

One of the easiest ways to prevent hearing loss is by utilising appropriate ear protection when exposed to loud or damaging noises. Hearing protection decreases the intensity, or loudness, of noise and helps preserve your hearing.

HCC Ear Protection Image

Look after your hearing

It's never too early to start looking after your hearing. The World Health Organisation says that noise exposure is the biggest cause of permanent hearing damage around the world – and it’s avoidable.

Here in the UK we are told that approx 10% of the population have some level of hearing loss and one in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise.

Many occupations and hobbies expose people to certain kinds of noise that can permanently damage your hearing. Hearing protection decreases the intensity, or loudness, of noise and helps preserve your hearing.

The Hearing Care Centre’s motto is ‘Love Your Hearing’ and the good news is we offer comprehensive advice about hearing protection and provide a range of specialist hearing protection products; each type having its own benefits.

Listening to any sound at a high volume – more than 85 decibels, or dB(A) – can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus or both.

Your risk of hearing damage from loud noise depends on two things: how loud the sound is and how long you’re exposed to it for.

Sounds under 85dB are safe to listen to – you don’t need to use any hearing protection. But if you work in a noisy environment and the sound levels reach 80dB, your employer should assess the risk to your hearing and give you information about this.

85dB is the level at which your hearing can become damaged over time. The length of time you can ‘safely’ be exposed to sound over 85dB without needing to use hearing protection depends on how loud it is.

The safe exposure time for 85dB is eight hours. As sound intensity doubles with every increase of 3dB, the safe exposure time halves. So, for example, the safe exposure time for 88dB is four hours (see guide below).

For sounds of 110–120dB, even a very short exposure time can cause hearing damage. 

The important thing to remember is that you can take preventative measures to protect your hearing. These include:

  • Reducing the time you are exposed to high noise levels. 
  • Turn the volume down on MP3 players or other personal music devices and use sound-excluding headphone or ear buds.
  • Avoid using too many noisy appliances on at the same time at home.
  • When purchasing new products check the dB rating, the lower the better.
  • Move further away form any source of loud noise.
  • Wear hearing protection when around loud noise e.g. using noisy equipment, at a concert etc...
HCC Ear Protection Musician
HCC Ear Protection Swimming

Dangers of loud music

Loud music can damage your ears before you know it, causing permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Make sure you know the risk and look after your ears

Ears are super sensitive and can detect the tiniest of sounds, but they’re not designed to withstand loud noise for long periods of time. Noise is measured using the decibel (dB) scale. Experts agree that hair cells can start to become damaged at 85dB and above.

Once damaged, these hair cells are not replaced, and the electrical signals passed to the brain are reduced or stopped. You may not notice the damage to your ears at this stage, or you may find you have dulled hearing for a day or two. But, over time, the hearing loss will become noticeable.

Research has shown that when hair cells are damaged, neurons (nerve cells in the brain) start searching for electrical signals that aren’t being received from the ear and may become hyperactive. It’s been suggested that this hyperactivity makes the brain more aware of the electrical ‘noise’ from the neurons, which is heard as tinnitus. Again, this can be temporary, but if you continue to expose your ears to loud noise, it’s likely that the tinnitus will become permanent.

You can think of loud music affecting hair cells when you’re on a night out a bit like the way a fresh patch of grass is affected by someone trampling over it. Before the person walks on the grass, it stands upright and tall.

Over the course of a night, someone tramples on this patch and some of the blades of grass remain flattened. Over a day or two, some of the blades of grass may pop back up, but if someone keeps trampling over the patch of grass, more damage will be done, and the damage will become permanent.

Noise-related hearing loss and tinnitus are avoidable, so don’t leave it too late. Protect your ears now – you’ve only got one pair:

  • Carry earplugs with you when you’re on a night out – the kind designed for clubbers and musicians don’t muffle sound, just make it a bit quieter and a lot safer.
  • If you’re out clubbing, stay away from the speakers and take regular breaks from the loudest areas – chillout zones are perfect for this. There are no laws to protect your hearing at clubs – it’s up to you!
  • When listening to music on your phone, don’t go over the ‘safe’ volume level that appears on the screen when you change the volume.
  • Invest in some noise-cancelling headphones – not only will these block out the noise around you, they also mean you don’t have to turn up the volume to a dangerous level to hear your music properly.

Custom ear protection

Many occuapations or hobbies pose a threat to our hearing health, but this does not mean we have to avoid them entirely! The Hearing Care Centre offers a range of ear protection for various different needs.

Light & discreet in the ear, these earpieces deliver clear sound so everything can be heard.

When you work in broadcasting you know the importance of getting things right first time and having things run smoothly when you’re on-air. Making sure that you have a perfect fit means that you can hear what’s going on when it matters most, ensuring your earpiece stays put and offering unprecedented comfort that allows you to work unhindered.

Available to order as a pair or a single ear piece.

Motorcycling is an exhilarating experience, however excessive noise through turbulent airflow around the helmet (wind-noise) has been named the "silent killer" of hearing. We have an excellent range of custom made earplugs to protect your hearing.

You’re exposed to 95-100dB when riding at 60mph, and over long periods of time this is extremely dangerous.

We can provide custom moulded hearing protection for motorcyclists, so that you can enjoy a safe and comfortable ride.

  • Our earplugs fit securely in the ear. The tight seal dramatically reduces the high noise levels experienced when travelling at speed.
  • Motorcycle hearing protection also prevents the discomfort of wind flow.
  • Attenuating filters block out 25dB of ambient noise, but still allow you to communicate easily and enjoy your love for motorcycling.

It is widely known that loud, intense music can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. Filtered earplugs reduce sound levels evenly across the frequency spectrum so that music and speech are clear and natural, not muffled as with non-custom (foam) earplugs.

Customised to the individual’s ear anatomy, they can enhance the music experience for audiences while protecting hearing and allow musicians to hear how their own instruments blend with others.

The perfect seal to the ear means superior hearing protection, more even attenuation and ultra-comfort for the wearer.

Depending on your level of exposure, the individually calibrated filter (9, 15 or 25dB) attenuates all frequencies at the same level, for crisp, clear sound, as if you weren’t wearing them.

Our custom-made ear pieces are available with single, dual or triple armature drivers providing exceptional sound quality, response and reliability. Ambient noise is reduced by 25dB and they’re so comfortable, you won’t even know you’re wearing them.

A gunshot is one of the loudest, most dangerous noises in the world, so members of shooting clubs, farmers and our armed forces are especially at risk of noise-induced hearingloss. A single gunshot heard by an unprotected ear could lead to permanent hearing loss, often accompanied by tinnitus, It’s therefore vitally important that shooters always wear protective shooting earplugs when they’re shooting and if you shoot regularly, it’s an investment well worth making.

The Hearing Care Centre offers a wide variety of shooting earplugs designed for protection against the sudden, loud noise of shooting. You can also select earplugs in bright colours, which makes them easy to find if you drop them in the field.

Please see below for a selection of the custom shooting earplugs avaialble from The Hearing Care Centre.

These are popular with spouses of snorers, people who work shifts and people sleeping with loud noise nearby (e.g. traffic).

Custom fitted sleep moulds are great for people that have trouble keeping the traditional foam plugs in their ear canals. They are also much more comfortable and better at reducing surrounding noise compared to the foam ones.

We offer a range of customised sleep moulds, which are made from a softer material for optimum comfort.

Protecting your ears is the best way to start preventing hearing loss, because of this we also offer swim plugs. Swimmers of all ages and abilities can experience sensitivity to water in the ear. Custom-made waterproof swim plugs are a safe, effective way to protect your ears and prevent discomfort while continuing the activities you enjoy.

Custom-made waterproof swim plugs offer protection for those prone to ear infections or other ear problems. Made of soft hydrophobic silicone material for maximum comfort, the plug floats so you won’t lose them in the water.

Swim plugs come in a variety of solid, swirled and neon colors.

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Find out about our fantastic range of custom and off-the-shelf ear protection products.

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