Hearing protection devices are designed to mitigate the effects of noise on humans, thus limiting the risk of hearing damage.
There are several types: earplugs, earmuffs to the protections equipped (standard or custom), adapted to the industry or ... to music through the filters studied, and finally active systems.
A Earplug is a device intended to be inserted into the ear canal to protect the user from the harmful effects of noise or water intrusion, foreign bodies, dust or wind excessive.
Protection against water
Some plugs are designed primarily to prevent the penetration of water into the ear canal, especially for swimming and water sports. They can be made of wax or silicone, which is molded into the ear of the user.
A 2003 study published in a journal Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, found that a cotton ball soaked in a hydrocarbon gel was more effective in preventing the penetration of water into the ear, more easy to use and more comfortable than a wax cap, a cap of foam.
As many have noted, including Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the earplugs are actually harmful to divers, especially scuba divers. The divers breathe compressed air or other gas mixtures at a pressure equivalent to water pressure. This pressure is also inside the ear, but not between the eardrum and the earplug, so the pressure behind the eardrum is often burst the eardrum. The snorkellers have less pressure inside the ears, but the pressure is also exerted at the external ear canal.
There are different types of hearing protection anti noise plugs disposable caps also called anti noise, noise-canceling headphones, plugs molded or cast protections and other hearing aid measure.
The first use of earplugs wax is mentioned in the Odyssey, when Odysseus' crew has used this process to avoid being distracted by the singing of the Sirens.
The materials used for making corks were discovered in 1967, the National Research Council of the United States, by Ross Gardner and his team. As part of a project on seals, they have developed a resin with properties of energy absorption. EAR This material was later developed and marketed as earplug foam shape memory.
Prolonged use can promote the formation of earwax in the external ear, because it blocks the normal flow of wax to the outside. . Therefore, it is necessary to clean the ear canal and ear plugs between uses in case of prolonged use, eg if the person sleeps with earplugs. Otherwise it may appear tinnitus, hearing loss, pain and infection. The earplugs are washed with water and mild soap and rinsed thoroughly with water and dried in the air or using a clean cloth. The earwax can be avoided in several ways. First single movement of the jaw helps the natural cleaning process of the ears and speaking and to use chewing gum can be beneficial. If this is not enough, the most common method for removing a plug of cerumen is to inject hot water through a syringe (this method is used by 95% of GPs.) . The curette method is more commonly used by ear, nose and throat when the ear canal is partially closed and the cork adheres to the skin of the ear canal. Using a cotton swab, however, could instead push the wax further into the ear canal.
Read also Ear Infection Treatment