In our modern world, noise seems to be everywhere. From traffic and construction to loud music and chatty coworkers, constant exposure to loud noises can be disruptive, stressful, and even damaging to our hearing. Earplugs offer a powerful solution, but with so many varieties available, choosing the right ones can feel overwhelming. This blog will be your guide to unlocking the power of earplugs, helping you find the perfect fit for both noise cancellation and hearing protection.

Why Is Ear Protection So Important?

Our sense of hearing is a precious gift, allowing us to navigate the world through sound. But just like any delicate instrument, our ears can be harmed by constant noise exposure. Over time, this relentless barrage can wear down tiny hairs in the inner ear, leading to permanent hearing loss. The consequences can range from muffled sounds to complete deafness. 

Studies, like one by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), show a concerning trend: a significant portion of the population experiences hearing difficulties, especially as we age. There are two main culprits: chronic exposure to loud noises and single incidents of extreme volume that can instantly damage our hearing.

Understanding Noise Levels

Hearing protection is laid down by law, and for good reason.  Here is an insight into how sound is measured and reduced and some examples of everyday noise exposure.  

The Decibel

Decibels (dB) are the unit used to measure sound pressure level. Sounds above 85 dB can begin to damage hearing over time. 


The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) indicates how much earplugs can potentially reduce noise. Look for NRRs that match your noise reduction needs.

Everyday Noise Exposure – In Decibels (dB):

  • 55 dB: Noise at this level is a concentration killer. At this volume, focusing on demanding tasks becomes tricky. Imagine trying to solve a complex problem with someone talking nearby.
  • 60 dB: This is typical conversation level noise, equivalent to the sound level of background noise in a standard office.
  • 85 dB: Vacuum cleaners and hand drills produce noise at around 85 dB. Regular exposure (over 40 hours per week) to noise this loud can cause permanent hearing damage. That's why workplace safety regulations often require ear protection at or above this level.
  • 120 dB: Noise levels of 120 dB and over are not only extremely uncomfortable but can cause immediate damage upon a single exposure. Noise caused by industrial and building machinery such as hammer drills, pneumatic drills and chain saws can reach this critical level.

Earplugs For Hearing Protection

Earplugs provide a simple and reliable solution for hearing protection both in working and leisure environments.  Earplugs are usually made of flexible foam or silicone and sometimes come connected with a cord, particularly for work related tasks, so that they don’t get lost.  Earplugs are placed inside the ear canal and block sound waves from penetrating the ear.  There are generally two types of earplugs, disposable and reusable.  

Disposable Earplugs

Single use earplugs, as the name suggests, should be used once and then thrown away.  These types of earplugs are usually made from a mouldable foam material, are comfortable to wear and are popular for their affordability and ease of use. They are a convenient choice for everyday noise reduction but should not be reused due to the risk of bacteria transmission.  

Some examples of disposable earplugs include:

Honeywell Laser Lite Uncorded Soft Earplugs

3M 1110 Corded Earplugs

Reusable Earplugs

Reusable earplugs are designed for multiple uses, potentially saving you money and reducing waste. But unlike their disposable counterparts, keeping them clean is important. You will need to use special wipes or simply wash them with mild soap and water after each use. Just remember to dry them thoroughly before storing them in their case for next time. An added bonus of reusable earplugs is that many have a handy clip, allowing you to insert them without touching the actual earbud with your fingers. This is perfect for situations where clean hands aren't readily available.

Moldex 6400 Rockets Reusable Ear Plugs with Storage Container are a good reusable option.

The Perfect Fit

A good fit is crucial for both comfort and effectiveness when it comes to earplugs. Here are some tips:

  • Read the instructions: Different earplugs have specific insertion methods. Following the instructions ensures a proper seal for optimal noise reduction.
  • Test different sizes: For flanged or silicone earplugs, try different sizes to find the perfect fit. A snug but comfortable fit in your ear canal is key.
  • The hand-over-ear test: Once inserted, cup your hands over your ears. If the sound increases when you remove your hands, adjust the earplugs or try a different size. Test for a proper seal to maximise earplug effectiveness.

Beyond Noise Cancellation

Earplugs can also be helpful for:

  • Protecting your hearing during loud activities: Use earplugs at concerts, when using power tools, or participating in shooting sports. Safeguarding your hearing from damaging noise levels.
  • Promoting better sleep: Earplugs can create a quieter environment for a more restful sleep. They can help to block out nighttime noises so that you wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Enhancing focus: Earplugs can help block out distracting background noise, allowing you to concentrate on work or studying. 


Earplugs are a simple yet powerful tool for protecting your hearing and creating a quieter space. By understanding different types, NRR ratings and proper fit techniques, you can find the perfect earplugs for your needs. Remember, your hearing is precious, so take steps to safeguard it! Take a look at our full range of earplugs available at SHD Medical.  


Post By Kelly