Tinnitus Today: Building Your Own Hearing Protection Toolkit

I was pleased to write an article and help answer reader questions for the American Tinnitus Association Winter 2020 issue of Tinnitus Today.

This is an excellent issue full of research, treatment, and coping news and information. My Tinnitus Q & A is on page 30 and Building Your Own Hearing Protection Toolkit is on page 46. For hearing protection, there are various options available to consider including high noise reduction, high fidelity, and specialty. Most people need more than 1 style or type for different listening situations or activities, just like people have a variety of options in First Aid Kits.

People are most likely to use hearing protection if they have it handy when needed. Earplugs or earmuffs should be used the first time and every time there is loud music, sound, or noise exposure.

Jan's Hearing Protection Toolkit

High Noise Reduction

Foam earplugs and regular earmuffs to wear when using power tools or equipment at home. I also use foam earplugs for very loud concerts or events.

High Fidelity

Pre-molded “musician’s” type earplugs to wear for loud concerts or events. If the music or sound is loud enough to be uncomfortable, I switch to foam.

I also have a pair of custom-molded earplugs that I used for workplace noise in the past, e.g. visiting constructions sites or sawmills. This allowed me to protect my hearing but also have conversations in noisy environments.


I don’t have any specialty hearing protection, because I don’t do activities or hobbies where I need any, e.g. hunting, riding motorcycle, ATVing.

What do you need in your Hearing Protection Toolkit to protect your hearing for life?