Kim Richard Jones, M.D., Ph.D.
Adult and Pediatric Otolaryngology
Kathy Yu, M.D., M.P.H.
Adult and Pediatric Otolaryngology
Erin Blackburn, Au.D./CCC-A/F-AAA
Carolina ENT Associates 55 Vilcom Center Drive, Suite 140
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
phone: 919.942.7278
fax: 919.942.9029
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Ear & Hearing Protection

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Hearing Protection

Some hearing loss is preventable by simply protecting your ears from harmful noise exposure by wearing plugs or muffs. Noises above 85dB can begin to do damage. These noise levels can be produced by lawn mowers, leaf blowers, power tools, loud music, chainsaws, engine noise, and gunfire. Impulse noise (140dB gun blast) can cause a significant hearing loss with one exposure.

Economically, hearing protection is a good investment. Basic ear plugs start at $45 whereas hearing aids average $1000. Custom-made molds are comfortable and easy to insert. We offer a large selection: solid, filtered, and electronic.



Solid Plugs

Insta-mold solid plugs provide the maximum protection you can put in your ear. These are custom-molded to your ear and can be made in one day. They are good for industrial noise, shooting, and sleeping.

Noise Reduction Ratio (NRR): 27 decibels
Average attenuation of sound: 39 decibels



Filtered Plugs


“Hunter’s” plugs are also custom-made to your ear. The 3-chambered filter dampens high levels of sound, but allows air, changes in air pressure, and some conversational speech to enter the ear. These plugs are ideal for shooters that want to be able to hear some sounds but be protected against the loud reports generated by firearms.

NRR: 19 decibels
Average attenuation: 26 decibels



Musician Ear Plugs

These ear plugs contain a special filter that allows sound levels to be softened without the distortion that solid plugs cause. Solid plugs dampen the high frequencies more than the low frequencies, causing a “muffled” hearing. Musidicans and anyone desiring to hear sounds soft and clear may benefit from these ear plugs.

Attenuation: Can choose several levels between 9 and 25 decibels.



Electronic Ear Protection

Electronic ear plugs protect your ears from damaging noises while simultaneously amplifying normal outdoor sounds without distortion.

We offer two brands: Starkey Soundscopes and ESP (Electronic Shooter’s Protection).

General Ear Protection

Swim Molds

Swim molds can be made in one day or factory made. They come in a variety of colors and float. These molds are used for people who have holes in their ear drums, ear tubes, or who are sensitive to getting water in their ears while showering or swimming.

Cell Phone Headsets

Custom ear pieces can be made in our office to fit into Plantronics 140 and 145 hands-free cell phone headsets or similar sized ear buds. These are great for comfort and easy to maneuver in and out of your ear.

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