Screenshot of a GIF depicting young boy inserting a foam earplug.

Noisy Planet, and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, our parent organization, have created new, free, shareable resources to explain and demonstrate why, when, and how to wear hearing protectors to help hold on to your hearing for a lifetime.

Sounds can harm your hearing when they are too loud and last too long. The louder the sound, the quicker it can damage your hearing. You can protect your hearing by:

  • Lowering the volume.
  • Moving away from the noise, when possible.
  • Wearing hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Sometimes you can’t easily avoid the noise or control the volume. That’s when earplugs or protective earmuffstwo types of hearing protectorscan help prevent hearing damage. Noisy Planet recommends that you wear hearing protectors any time sound levels reach at least 85 A-weighted decibels. (Learn about the decibel levels of common sounds and download a smartphone app to measure noise levels.)

Earmuff hearing protectors are among the easiest ways to protect your hearing. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, share the word about hearing protectors with this GIF, which shows a preteen protecting her hearing from loud music. It’s also available in Spanish.

A preteen girl appears to bothered by loud noise from an amplifier. She puts on protective ear muffs and looks relieved.

Using earplugs correctly can be trickier than you might think. If you don’t insert them properly, they won’t protect your hearing as much as they couldand perhaps not at all.

Our shareable GIF and video show the right way to insert formable foam earplugs. Roll the earplug into a thin snake (to avoid creases that let in sound), pull your ear up and back with the opposite hand, and gently insert the earplug into your ear canal until it is flush with the opening of the ear. Then hold the earplug in place until it fully expands. That’s it!

This animated GIF shows a young boy demonstrating how to use foam earplugs to protect your hearing from noise-induced hearing loss.

What about pre-molded earplugs? This video shows you how to use high fidelity earplugs, which are great for concerts and other times when you want to protect your hearing but still preserve sound quality.

We hope you’ll use these free resources to safeguard your family’s hearing, and share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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