Earmolds Specialist

Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A -  - Audiology

South Bay Hearing and Balance

Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A

Audiology located in Chula Vista, CA

You may be surprised to learn that nearly 13% of teens and 25% of adults have permanent noise-induced hearing loss. That number jumps to 33% for those who work in a noisy environment. You can protect your hearing with customized earmolds from Gary A. Coté, MA, CCC-A, and the team at South Bay Hearing and Balance. Whether work exposes you to noise or you turn up the volume when listening to music, you can prevent hearing loss by wearing earmolds. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Chula Vista, California, or book an appointment online today.

Earmolds Q & A

What are earmolds?

An earmold, also called an earplug, is a device that’s custom-made to fit in your ear. Though hearing aids are a type of earmold, an earplug has a unique design to protect your ear from loud sounds.  

Earmolds that block loud sounds prevent noise-induced hearing loss. You need this type of earmold if you’re frequently exposed to loud sounds, whether those sounds come from machinery at work, you’re a musician, or you watch TV or listen to music with the volume on high.

How does an earmold prevent noise-induced hearing loss?

The inner ear contains specialized hair cells that capture sound, turn it into electrical signals, and then send the signals along the auditory nerve to your brain. These cells are easily damaged or destroyed by loud sounds.

Over time, excessive noise can also damage the auditory nerve. Whether hair cells or the nerve are affected, the hearing loss is permanent.

One exposure to a loud event, such as a football game or concert, injures the hair cells. Most of the cells recover after a single event, but some die.

Consistent or frequent exposure to loud sounds leads to the death of more hair cells. By the time 30-50% of the total cells in your ear die, you start to develop hearing loss that a hearing test can detect.

As long as you experience exposure to loud sounds, the problem gets progressively worse. Earmolds are the best way to effectively reduce sound and prevent noise-induced hearing loss.

Are there different types of earmolds?

At South Bay Hearing and Balance, earmolds are custom-made to fit your ear. The team carefully makes an impression of your ear; then, they produce your earmold to match the impression.

Beyond fitting your ears, your earmolds may simply block harmful levels of noise, or you can get earmolds that, by design, address your specific needs.

Musician’s earplugs, for example, are designed to prevent damaging sounds from entering their ears while still allowing them to hear music clearly.

Specialized earmolds that allow hearing certain sounds while blocking others prevent hearing loss in many people, including law enforcement, pilots, broadcasters, athletic coaches, motorcyclists, construction workers, and industrial employees.

If you need earmolds to protect your hearing, call South Bay Hearing and Balance, or book an appointment online today.