Category Archives: Hearing protection

How to insert your Pluggerz earplugs?

A proper fit of your earplugs is important to have a comfortable experience and, more important, protect your ears. Follow these tips to insert your Pluggerz earplugs the best way.

1. Check that Pluggerz are clean before use
2. Take hold of the tip of your ear and pull it slightly upwards and backwards
3. Insert the ear protector into your ear canal as deeply as you can
4. Let go of your ear and push in the ear protector once again

Custom made earplugs will only fit one way. Make sure you use the proper earplug on your left an right ear. The earplugs are marked with an ‘L’ for Left and ‘R’ for Right. Transparent earplugs will also have a Red (Right) and Blue (Left) dot on them to tell the difference. Some people find it easier to use ear cream or a little bit of saliva to make the custom-made earplugs easier to fit.

Custom-Made earplugs can be taken out a little easier by pushing at the back of your ear (forward and up) to ‘lift’ the earplug from your ear.

Always make sure your earplugs are fitted correctly and try to avoid taken them out (even for a short while) because this can cause hearing damage.

Mistakes to avoid when choosing hearing protection

Mistakes to avoid when choosing hearing protection

Noise Induced Hearing Loss is a growing problem. Many of us are aware that we need to use hearing protection, but there are so many products available on the market that it is often difficult to choose the right solution. Sometimes it is tempting just to choose the cheapest product or worse still, not bother because the choice is too hard.

Let us unravel some of the mysteries, so you will be able to select the right product for you.

1] Bigger Isn’t Always Better

People often think that because ear-muffs are big, they provide the most protection. Hearing protectors are tested according to the guidelines in the Australian/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 1270: 2002. Once tested, hearing protectors are given a class rating from 1 to 5, where Class 5 currently offers the greatest level of noise reduction. Ear-muffs and earplugs are both available as Class 5 hearing protectors.

2] Don’t Overprotect Your Ears

Avoid hearing protection that cuts out too much noise. They can:

  • Reduce your ability to hear warning signals
  • Tempt you to remove the hearing protectors to hear what other people are saying to you

Hearing protectors should be used the entire time you are exposed to noise as removing your earplugs for even a short time drastically reduces their effectiveness. For example, removing your hearing protector for just 5 minutes out of an 8-hour day will reduce your hearing protection by a massive 40%.

3] Communication Breakdown

Foam earplugs reduce high frequency sound much more than the low to mid frequencies. The frequencies of speech occur in the mid to high frequencies. This is why it is often difficult to engage in conversations while you are wearing foam earplugs.

Look out for filtered earplugs (reusable and custom), which reduce the volume of the noise more evenly across all frequencies and provide better sound quality than foam earplugs. This means you can communicate with fellow workers, answer telephones and hear warning signals.

4] Avoid that “Closed In” Feeling

Traditional forms of hearing protection can cause you to feel “closed in” and isolated from your surroundings. The so called “occlusion effect” can make some people feel uncomfortable about wearing hearing protection as it feels like you’re talking inside your own head. By comparison, filtered earplugs (reusable and custom) are designed to minimise the occlusion effect and make outside noise sound as natural as if you weren’t wearing hearing protection.

5] Make sure it’s Comfortable

Don’t buy hearing protection that is uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. If your job depends on you wearing hearing protection all day, every day, you need to be sure it will be comfortable to wear for long durations. Otherwise you’ll be tempted not to wear anything, which may result in permanent hearing loss.

For example, if you work in high temperature environments, you may consider using earplugs in preference to ear-muffs to minimise your discomfort. You may also find your ear canals get sore from repeated use of single use foam hearing protectors. Custom made hearing protectors fit your ear perfectly, making them comfortable to wear for long periods.

6] Don’t Buy Hearing Protection on Price Alone

While disposable hearing protectors are low cost when you buy them individually, if you need to use them every day for work, the costs soon mount up. Our conservative estimate is that tradesmen and employees typically use two pairs of foam earplugs per day, and at 25 cents per pair, this adds up to over $120 per year.

As an example, Pluggerz custom hearing protectors last for four years, and work out at less than 30 cents per day or $69 per year.

7] Quality Control

Don’t assume that all custom hearing protection is of the same quality or made to the same standard. There is a wide price variation between custom hearing protectors, so when choosing a product you should ask the following questions:

  • What material are the hearing protectors made from?
  • How long do the hearing protectors last for?
  • Is there a choice in the level of attenuation (noise reduction) available?
  • What guarantees do the suppliers offer on the hearing protectors?
  • What is the after-sales service if I find they don’t fit properly?

We hope this helps in order to find the right product for you.

Hearing protection for musicians

Hearing protection for musicians

The music and entertainment industry is unique in that high noise levels are often regarded as an essential element for the enjoyment of people attending concerts and live music events.

However, there is a risk of hearing damage for people working in the music and entertainment industry, including musicians. Most musicians and people are aware of the danger they are exposed to, but there is a lot of misunderstanding about hearing protection and how to protect your hearing in the best possible way. It will also depend on what kind of instrument you are playing, or what your work environment looks like.

Hearing protection music industry

In 2008 a study was conducted by the Health and Safety Labatory in the UK about the usage of hearing protection with musicians. Quite an interesting read if you are a musician yourself or want to get a better understanding of what musicians do to protect their hearing.

PLUGGERZ for musicians

All PLUGGERZ hearing protectors are CE marked and supplied with attenuation data according to BS EN 352 and can be checked annually to see if they still offer the protection they should. If you have any questions about the best solution for yourself, feel free to contact us.

You can find the report here. Happy reading!

why use earplugs

Why Use Earplugs?

The world can be a very noisy place. Earplugs are the ideal way to cope with exposure to sounds that are loud, unpleasant, or just plain annoying! Plus, they can be incredibly beneficial in other areas as well. Specifically, earplugs are useful for:

1. Sleep

If you share a bed with someone who snores, you know first hand how dramatically noise can affect your quality of sleep. But snoring isn’t the only sound that can keep you up at night. Living in a loud, populated neighbourhood can also cut down on your nighttime z’s. This, in turn, can have a detrimental effect on your everyday life, ranging from your energy levels and work performance to even your diet. Earplugs provide instant relief from a noisy night and are a small price to pay for a great nights sleep!

2. Work

Many jobs expose you to loud noises that can potentially affect your hearing. If you are an employer, you know it is now a legal requirement to adequately protect the ears of your staff. If you are an employee who is consistently or even occasionally exposed to a loud or noisy environment, earplugs can protect your hearing AND give you the peace you need to concentrate and get your work done.

3. Flying and Travel

If you hate the feeling of your ears “popping” when your flight takes off and lands, earplugs are an excellent solution. We carry earplugs that are specifically designed to prevent ear pain and “popping” during flight. They also block out background noise which can be significant on an airplane allowing you to concentrate, relax or even sleep through your flight.

4. Music Professionals

DJ’s, musicians and others who work in the music industry in close proximity to amplifiers and other sound equipment are often exposed to sound at an extremely high decibel level. It is crucially important if you work with music especially live music or music played at high volume for an audience to protect your ears. Specially-designed earplugs make it safer for you to do your job.

5. Sports

If you enjoy a sport like motor racing or shooting, you know they can be rather noisy. Earplugs protect your ears from the loud noises associated with your sport so that you can concentrate on enjoying yourself.

6. Night clubs / concerts

Have you ever gone out to a nightclub and woken up the next day with ringing in your ears? Earplugs especially designed for loud music will help you enjoy nightclubs and concerts without paying for it the next day at least not with your ears! Earplugs are small, totally discreet and can ensure you don’t suffer from the effects of Tinnitus.

7. Children

If your child has ever panicked at a fireworks show, you’ll understand why we included children. But even if loud noises don’t seem to bother your child, the fact is, small children’s tiny ears can be far more sensitive than adult ears to high-pitched sounds. Since noise can be made up of many different pitches of sound simultaneously, it can be difficult to determine when your child is more at risk. Earplugs designed in children’s sizes help you err on the side of caution by protecting your child’s hearing and looking after their ears.

8. Water Protection

Swimmers and surfers often get water in their ears, resulting in a condition called “swimmer’s ear” that keeps you away from the sports you enjoy. Water protection earplugs create a seal that keeps water out and your ear canal dry. This reduces the risk of infection, allowing you to enjoy your normal activities without risk.

9. Motorcycling

Motorcycling is fun, but exposes your ears to a high and consistent noise level. Whether you cycle for sport or for transportation (or both!), earplugs are the ideal solution to combat these high noise levels and protect your ears.