Why Bother with Hearing Protection?

Shield Your Healthy Hearing From Harmful Noise Levels

Exposure to excessive noise levels (greater than 85 decibels) during work or other activities can significantly increase your risk of hearing loss, or exacerbate an existing hearing impairment. Going without hearing protection in the face of harmful noise levels is likely to create problems down the road, when the damaging effects on the delicate hair cells of the cochlea — the inner-ear organ that relays sound signals to the brain — begin to surface.

Concerts, sporting events, hunting, ATV riding, running power tools, or simply listening to music too loudly can all irreparably damage hearing. At times, these noise levels can reach 110 decibels (dB) or more, which puts your hearing at risk in a matter of minutes. Some sounds can damage hearing instantaneously. A shotgun blast at close range without protection can exceed 150 dB, permanently damaging your hearing in one single, fleeting moment.

Repeated noise exposure early in life can be compounded as you get older. Since the hair cells in your inner ear never regenerate, your hearing is unlikely to get any better on its own after experiencing repeated traumatic events. Hearing damage suffered during teen years may not surface until your late 20s or early 30s — or even your 50s or 60s, when presbycusis, age-related deterioration of hearing, becomes a greater factor.

Hearing protection prevents damaging noise levels by dampening the piercing sounds but still allowing you to hear the sounds you want to hear clearly. Our hearing protection goes beyond the kind of earplugs you buy at the drugstore — Hearing HealthCare, Inc. offers a variety of custom-fit hearing protection designed to fit the contours of your ear perfectly, offering a snug, comfortable fit and all-day protection from dangerous noise.


Are There Consequences Later in Life if Hearing Loss Goes Untreated?

Protecting your hearing is important, as hearing loss is connected to a number of serious health ailments later in life. The relationship between hearing loss and dementia has been established in research, and it’s a close association. There is strong evidence that hearing loss accelerates brain-tissue atrophy, particularly in areas of the brain that auditory nerves would stimulate but can’t because they aren’t receiving a signal (due to a hearing loss). These areas of the brain are also related to memory and speech.

Individuals with a mild hearing loss are also three times as likely to fall down than those without, and the likelihood of falls increases as degree of hearing loss increases. Hearing loss has been linked to a variety of other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sickle-cell anemia, and other circulatory conditions.


When Is Hearing Protection Needed?

As a general rule, if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music or noise, it’s probably too loud and might be on the cusp of damaging your hearing. Things like lawn mowers or heavy freeway traffic tend to hover between 80 and 90 dBs, which is when hearing is at risk of damage. Those who are regularly exposed to noises of 85 dB or more should have their hearing tested regularly to see if the effects of hearing damage are already present.

If you face continuous loud noise exposure in your leisure activities or at work, please contact us for advice on the latest hearing-protection methods that best suit your needs, or to schedule an appointment to be fit for custom hearing protection.


Types of Hearing Protection

In-Ear Studio Monitors for Musicians

Research indicates that musicians are about four times more likely than the general population to suffer from hearing loss due to their profession. On top of time spent practicing instruments, concerts regularly exceed 110 dB — loud enough to cause hearing damage in a matter of minutes. Musicians who do not wear hearing protection face the likelihood of hearing loss at an early age, and they risk their careers in the process.


Hearing Protection for Hunting

As a hunter, your ears face the risk of immediate damage from gunshots — if you fire them without proper ear protection. Hearing HealthCare, Inc. offers an array of custom-fit, essential protective gear for hunters and shooters, military and police personnel, and industrial and manufacturing professionals. The hearing protection we fit you with is convenient to carry with you, and since it’s fit to the unique contours of your inner ear, it’s comfortable to wear.

We offer both standard hearing protection and electronic hearing protection for use wherever and whenever loud noise is a problem. Please call our office today or contact our office to schedule your appointment for custom-fit hearing protection!


Ear Protection for Swimmers

While there isn’t much to hear underwater, seasoned swimmers understand the importance of wearing ear protection to help prevent swimmer’s ear, surfer’s ear, and eardrum ruptures. Ear protection for swimmers help the ears equalize underwater, and are custom fit to create tight seals that keep the ear canal dry. Regular swimmers, or those who spend several hours per week performing activities in water, are encouraged to be fit for ear protection.

Our practice specializes in finding the right ear protection solutions for you. Please call us today to book your appointment for custom-fit swimming protection!


Ear Protection for Sleeping

So many factors go into what makes a good night’s sleep — something that many people strive for but struggle with every day for one reason or another. Our practice believes in taking charge of what you can control, like blocking out nighttime noises that keep you awake when you should be resting deeply. Whether it’s the result of street noise, loud neighbors, or a snoring partner, our custom-fit ear protection is so comfortable, you’ll barely know it’s there — because you’ll be sleeping too soundly to notice.

A lack of sleep can lead to psychiatric troubles and is tied to a multitude of other health issues. Getting poor sleep at night means you go to work the next day tired, have low energy and poor concentration, and are probably more stressed than you otherwise would have been. Call Hearing HealthCare, Inc. today for a solution to snoring, traffic, loud neighbors, and other factors that can ruin the most important part of your night.

Ready to Start Your Journey to Better Hearing?

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Patient Testimonials

See what people are saying about Hearing HealthCare, Inc.

  • Pursuant to the suggestions of my audiologist several years ago, I sought your assistance in resolving my right ear beginning hearing loss. I was very pleased with your suggestions and advice, and I really thought that I would not obtain a better doctor. Then I was told that I would become Dr. Recchio’s patient, and I was a little anxious at first.

    Since the first day, Dr. Recchio demonstrated a solid knowledge of the medical field and immediately earned my esteem. Dr. Recchio carefully listens to me, asks pertinent questions, and shows honest interest in finding a positive resolution to the issues concerning my hearing aids. It is very clear that Dr. Recchio is genuinely interested in the challenge to bring the technology to best offset the medical handicap exhibited by her patients, and takes adequate time to bring to closure any annoyances which prevent a noticeable recovery of the hearing loss. Dr. Recchio is not afraid to learn deeper about hearing aid technology to better serve her patients. Dr. Recchio has earned my complete medical respect and has a wonderful gift at treating me (and I would guess all her patients) as a valuable human being. I sincerely believe that Dr. Recchio is a great asset to the Hearing HealthCare team.


  • You have gone over and above the call of duty from the very beginning. First in the gentle way you put up with all my questions and concerns about getting the right hearing aids, and always keeping what is best for me (your client) above what would bring you the biggest profits. You’ve never tried to oversell, and your advice resulted in many years of successful hearing correction that has made me able to function so well all these years.

    After we moved to North Carolina, you continued to be my resource and support for the years when I could return to MD often and then transferred my account to an equally caring and responsive audiologist in Greensboro, NC.

    Now that we moved once again to Columbus, OH, and my hearing aid model is no longer supported by the company you’ve exerted enormous efforts in helping me avoid the expense of a new pair because nobody in Columbus was able to adjust them to my hearing loss. However, you are still able to help when I travel back to MD to make the adjustment.

    We’ve been recommending you to all our friends in MD who need hearing correction, we wish you could expand to Ohio so we could continue recommending your services to our new friends in Columbus.


  • I moved from Florida to Maryland three years ago and was quite anxious about finding a good audiologist. I found Hearing HealthCare, Inc., after a careful search through the local University of Maryland Audiology program. I was told that Jane Kirksey was one of the finest audiologists in the area.

    I have since purchased two hearing aids and a Bluetooth® device from Hearing HealthCare, Inc. Jane was careful and precise in choosing and fitting me with aids best suited for me. She has changed my life. I no longer have the TV and radio blaring, and I can go to lectures, meetings, the theater, and other social events and cannot only hear, but I understand everything. For those of you who have good hearing, you cannot imagine what that means to those of us who have a severe hearing impairment.

    Jane, her associates, and her staff are not only highly accomplished, but they are wonderful, kind, and helpful as well. I consider them my friends. I highly recommend Hearing HealthCare, Inc., for your all your hearing healthcare and hearing aid needs.

    I thank Hearing HealthCare, Inc., for bringing me into the “hearing” world. Oh, and my husband thanks them too.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common loud noises I should avoid?
Perhaps the most common loud noise you’ll encounter is freeway traffic, which can be loud enough to damage hearing (85 dB) when it’s heavy. Lawn mowers, chain saws, ambulances, garbage trucks, and motorcycles are all fairly common neighborhood or street sounds that can damage hearing. During certain times of the year, firecrackers, jackhammers, snowmobiles, or outdoor sporting equipment (guns included) might make themselves known. And of course loud music — whether it’s through earbuds and a loud iPod or in person at a concert — is one of the most common culprits of hearing loss today.
My ears hurt after being exposed to loud noise. What should I do?
Do whatever you can to get away from that noise immediately. When a noise is painful, it’s likely that damage is being done to your hearing. Noises loud enough to cause pain are also typically loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage almost immediately. If the pain persists, please see a medical professional.
How do I protect my ears from loud noise?
Earplugs that fit snugly and seal tightly in your ear canal typically offer protection for a variety of situations. Custom-fit hearing protection offered by Hearing HealthCare, Inc. can protect your ears from harmful noise levels while still allowing you to enjoy the activities you love.
Where can I get custom hearing protection?
Hearing HealthCare, Inc. can fit you with custom hearing protection that defends the delicate inner ear against harmful noise levels.
How can I tell if a noise is dangerous?
If you must raise your voice in order to be heard over the sound, you’re probably experiencing a dangerous amount of noise. Do what you can to move out of harm’s way, or cover your ears if possible until the noise passes.
How long can I be exposed to loud noises before it affects my hearing?
Permissible noise exposure levels vary. Hearing loss is cumulative, meaning that the less time you’re exposed to loud noises over the course of your life, the better your hearing health is likely to be. The point at which sound begins to damage hearing is 85 dB, for which the permissible continuous exposure period is about eight hours. For each 3 dB increase in noise pressure, the permissible exposure time before hearing damage can occur is cut in half. For example, permissible exposure to 88 dB would be four hours, 91 dB would be two hours, 94 dB would be one hour, etc.
Are there advantages to earmuffs or earplugs?
Heavy-duty earmuffs can create a seal around the ear that cuts out noise to the same level as many earplugs. The main disadvantages of a larger headset are the possibility for less mobility, and the possibility that they may fall off, leaving the ears exposed for some period of time. Earplugs may also fall out, but custom-fit earplugs are likely to stay sealed comfortably in the ear for as long as you’d like to wear them.