|Got Ears? Ear Plug Sizing Kit contains one each of three different sizes of ear plug that you can use to determine the size of ear plug you need before buying a quantity of ear plugs, or before investing in an expensive type of ear plug.|
Got Ears? Ear Plug Sizing Kit is recommended for individuals and for groups who need to determine what kinds of ear plugs will best fit their group members. Workers and others will not use ear plugs if they are not comfortable or if they do not block noise properly. Use of this kit as a guide, can help you or your organization to figure out how best to equip everyone. With the Got Ears? ear plug sizing kit, you can stop guessing.
Our unique ear plug sizing kit uses the Tasco Tri-Fit reusable ear plugs which are made to military standards. As a result, these sizes correlate well to most ear plugs that are sold in three sizes. For ear plugs sold in two sizes, these will nearly always correlate to medium and small in the kit. For other products that come in just a single size, that size will generally correlate to medium in our kit. When more than three sizes are available, the extra size is often an extra small size. Once you have used the ear plug sizing kit to determine that you can use an off the shelf plug and whether you will need a small, medium, or large, you may still find that you need to try a few different ear plugs to find your absolute best fit. There are many different factors, including material softness, shape, length, and sensitivity to body heat, that can affect your comfort and the effectiveness of the ear plugs you use. We are confident that this ear plug sizing kit will give you a great start on narrowing down your choices to those most likely to work well for you.
What is in the box:
Three reusable pre-molded silicone ear plugs, one of each size: small, medium, and large, representing the typical range of sizes in the world of universal fit ear plugs.
- One single use packet of Oto-Ease ear plug lubricant.
- Instructions for use, and advice on how to find ear plugs for hard to fit individuals.
Got Ears? Ear Plug Sizing Kit Instructions for Use With Troubleshooting List and Recommendations for Common Ear Plug Fit Problems:
For best results, please follow these direction to determine the ear plug size(s) that fit you best. You may need a different size in each ear.
Repeat for your other ear. Many people need a different size of ear plug in each ear!
- Apply a small amount of OtoEase lubricant to each of the three ear plugs in the kit, and spread the lubricant around the flange portion of the ear plugs to make them easier to insert.
- To insert the ear plug, begin by reaching across your head with the opposite hand, grasp the ear and gently pull up and back to help straighten the ear canal.
- Try each of the three sizes of ear plug, beginning with the smallest, and proceed as follows:
- With the ear pulled up and back to open the canal, use the other hand to gently insert the ear plug with a small twisting motion, until the last flange on the ear plug is resting firmly against the ear canal opening. Stop if inserting the plug causes pain or uncomfortable pressure.
- Repeat with the next size larger, if it will fit. A properly sized ear plug will fit snugly, well down in the canal, but it will not cause pain or uncomfortable pressure when in place.
- After trying one or more of the ear plugs included, and deciding which is the best fit for you, confirm your choice by doing the following:
- Determine if it is comfortable.
- To test for comfort, wear the ear plug for a minimum of one hour. If the ear plug is still comfortable after an hour, you can be confident that the ear plug is not too large, because an overly large ear plug will apply pressure that starts to hurt or be really uncomfortable after a short time.
- Determine if it is effective.
- To test for effectiveness, turn on a fan, play the TV, radio, or some other source of sound, then insert the ear plug as described above.
- With the sound playing, block your open ear by using your finger to hold the tragus firmly closed over the ear canal. (The tragus is the little flap of cartilage next to your ear canal opening.)
- Note the sound level that you can hear. Now, using your other hand, cover your ear with the plug in place, sealing your hand against your head as best you can to keep the noise out. With a properly seated, well-fitting ear plug, you should not notice much, if any difference in the volume of sound you can hear. If cupping your hand over your ear does make a difference you can detect, that suggests the ear plug is not fitting properly. Try a larger or smaller size of ear plug to see if you can get a good fit with these.
If you cannot get any of the three ear plugs to fit comfortably and deeply (fully up to the third flange), and/or block noise as you expect they should, please proceed to troubleshooting below to find a solution that works for you.
Ears are like fingerprints: no two are alike. With that in mind, there are several issues that might prevent you from getting a good fit from any of the three ear plugs we included in the ear plug sizing kit, but do not despair, we have solutions for everyone, including you!
Canals are too small or too large. We have seen all kinds of ear canals and it will come as no shock to you to learn that some people have ear canals that are too tiny for even the smallest production ear plug to fit properly; ditto for extra large ear canals. If you cannot get a good fit from any of the three sizes in this kit, you will almost certainly need to choose a custom molded ear plug to get adequate noise protection and comfort. (See info on custom ear plugs below.)
The ear plugs seem to fit comfortably and snugly, but they do not block much, if any sound. The most common reason for this result is that your ear canals are severely oval, rather than round, resulting in gaps around the (round) ear plug that let sound easily pass beside the ear plug. This is quite common, and if you have markedly oval/flattened ear canals, getting a good fit that blocks noise the way it should, may require that you get custom ear plugs. (See info on custom ear plugs below.)
The ear plugs seem to fit okay, but they will not go in deep enough to engage the third flange against the opening of your ear canal. The ear canal is not straight, but rather, it has two bends. Some people have a sharp, shallow bend that stops ear plugs from being inserted as deeply as they need to be for good noise protection. If this describes your situation, then you will most likely need a custom ear plug. (See info on custom ear plugs below.)
I have found an ear plug that fits snugly and blocks sound as it should, but my ears hurt after a few minutes of wearing the plugs. I have tried the next smaller size and it is comfortable, but does not block noise as it should. The most likely issue here is that your ear canals are slightly oval, rather than round. This requires that the ear plug deform more than the test plugs included in this kit can accommodate. You will probably need a more flexible ear plug, such as a soft foam or push-in, or a reusable ear plug with very thin flanges that can deform enough to fit you comfortably. We offer trial packs of each of these types of ear plugs that will let you explore to find ear plugs that fit you well, or you can simply go ahead and get custom ear plugs. (See info on custom ear plugs below.)
How do I get custom ear plugs, if that is what I need?
There are five common ways to obtain custom ear plugs:
- You can go to a local audiologist who will make impressions of your ears, order the custom ear plugs from an ear mold lab, and then on a subsequent visit, fit you with the completed ear plugs. Audiologists often charge several hundred for the exam, in addition to the cost of the ear plugs, and the several required visits can be a pain to work into your schedule, but if you know you have ear-related health issues, or just want to be really safe, by all means go ahead and use the Audiologist. You will not make us mad, and we will still be here to provide whatever products and support we can, so do keep us in mind even if you do choose to go to an Audiologist for your ear plugs.
- You can order the same kind of lab made custom ear plugs provided by a local audiologist directly from Ear Plug Superstore. Our lab made custom ear plugs start at around $140. When you order lab made custom ear plugs or molds from Ear Plug Superstore, we will send you a diy impression kit, you will make the ear impressions at home, at your convenience, and mail them back to us. We will then inspect the impressions, send them to a professional ear mold lab (just like the Audiologist will do if you choose that option) and return the completed custom ear plugs to you when they are done in a few weeks. Our prices are generally much better than you can get from your Audiologist, because of our much higher volume and because we do not provide the ear exam that is generally included when you visit the Audiologist.
- You can use a DIY custom ear plug kit to make your own at home. Do it yourself (DIY) custom ear plug kits are available starting at about $10 a pair. These are not as "finished" as are lab made custom ear plugs, they are not usually as effective, and there are fewer choices in style available, but they work pretty well and trying DIY custom ear plugs is a great first step if you decide you need custom ear plugs.
- You can attend an event where one or more vendors are making custom ear plugs for visitors. These vendors charge between $45-75 for a set of custom ear plugs, which they make and deliver while you are at the event. Such vendors are nearly always present at motorcycle rallies, gun shows, and they are increasingly common at music festivals. By the way, we offer all the supplies and equipment needed to make custom ear plugs on site, as well as a an OCEPS trial kit you can use to make your own custom ear plugs. If you are looking for the very best DIY custom ear plugs and/or you are interested in learning how you can make custom ear plugs for all your employees or have a business of your own making and selling custom ear plugs at events, See OCEPS.