People often see ear plugs as something to use only in very specific circumstances. For instance, we might use ear plugs when we’re working with power tools, or we might use them when we’re at a loud festival to help keep our ears safe.
However, ear plugs have many uses that can apply to everyday life and can help in situations that range from helping you fall asleep to making air travel more bearable. So in this article, we’re going to talk about the benefits of using ear plugs in everyday life and how they can make a difference for you.
How Much Noise is Dangerous?
Most humans can only stand up to around 75 decibels of noise. If noise reaches 85 decibels or higher, then you could potentially suffer irreversible hearing loss.
As a general point of reference, here are a couple of examples:
- Faint whispers come in at 30 decibels
- Conversations can reach up to 60 decibels
- A busy restaurant or cafe can be 70 decibels
- Blenders, industrial workplace and a vacuum cleaner can reach up to 85 decibels
- Hair dryers, loud trains and a motorcycle can go past 90 decibels
- A handheld drill, tractor or a car horn can go past 100 decibels
- Concerts, sirens and planes can go past 120 decibels
Being exposed temporarily to a loud sound doesn’t put you at immediate risk unless it goes past 120 decibels. If a car speeds past, then it won’t put you at much risk. However, if a gun is fired near you, then the spike of around 140 decibels could cause temporary issues with your ear.
On the other hand, vacuuming for more than 10 minutes or drying your hair for longer than 5 minutes could start causing hearing loss, and you’ll start to experience the dangers of hearing loss when exposed for longer periods of time.
This is why it’s important to use ear plugs–to ensure that your ears are protected from these noises and save yourself from experiencing hearing loss. However, there are also a number of other uses for ear plugs that could help in everyday life.
If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping, then ear plugs could be the solution. Whether it’s a noisy dorm room or your bedroom being close to a busy main road, ear plugs can help you block out noises and help you focus on sleeping.
There are also some ear plugs that double as earphones, meaning you can play relaxing sounds to help you fall asleep more easily in addition to blocking out noises. They’re also great for helping you fall asleep on long train journeys or flights.
If you work on a construction site or in a busy kitchen, then it’s important to use ear plugs at certain times, such as when you operate loud machinery. However, it’s also important to take them off so you can listen to your surroundings.
Most ear plugs are rated depending on how much sound they can block out, so some will be able to lower noise to a comfortable level and still allow you to listen to your surroundings.
Be it a noisy public train or a loud plane taking off, ear plugs are fantastic for helping you manage noise levels to a comfortable level when you’re out in public.
Ear plugs are small, easy to carry around and you can take them out whenever they’re needed. This makes them the perfect travel companion for when you’re exposed to loud noises during a commute to work or if you’re a frequent flyer.
A common concern for swimmers is swimmer’s ear, an infection that occurs when water is trapped in the ears. Typically, swimmers will use an ear dryer to get rid of the water after swimming, but they can also wear ear plugs.
This also helps anyone with pressure equalization tubes or a perforated ear drum, and reduces the risk of an ear infection. If you’re required to swim in dirty or cold water, then ear plugs can also help.
If you’re visiting a concert or need to expose yourself to loud music, such as working as a sound technician, then it’s important to wear ear plugs to keep the noise levels down.
Loud music is essential so that the crowd can hear what’s being played, but at times, the noise levels can become unsafe for long-term exposure and it’s safer to use ear plugs.
Children can also benefit from ear plugs if you’re worried about the noises they’re exposed to. However, it’s often better for kids to wear ear muffs instead because they’re safer to use and still provide fantastic noise reduction.
Children should wear these when they’re going to be exposed to loud noises for a long period of time. This includes noisy events, fireworks and concerts.