Transcription Of This Video:

The world of hearing protection is huge. I would like to guide you through it, and what I would like the next couple of blogs to provide you a comprehensive guide through all of your choices out there in the world of hearing protection, starting with this blog, I would be talking about the solid earplugs options that you have in the world. Now, we come from a place of making custom earplugs and the reason why are doing this blog is that we have been in your shoes when we started this company back in 2003, we were customers.

We wanted something for our motorcycle rides; we wanted something to protect us, that was comfortable that we can wear for extended periods of time on the motorcycle. Now, we started off seeking more comfortable earplugs but that soon transformed into making more comfortable products overall for motorcycle riders, and we have evolved into a custom-solution for many different activities, not just motorcycle riding.

In reality, the situation is that you need a problem solved, and the creation of our products boiled down to one thing; generic one-size fit all products do not work. So, what I will be doing in this blog is that I am going to walk you through all the different options that you have in the generic one-size fits all solid earplugs that give you a reduction if you put your fingers on your ears in a particular way. They are going to give you this sensation when you put them in your ears, it’s going to give you a full-stop reduction. Now, there are so many types of them in the world, it can get confusing out there. We will go through them thoroughly.

Then, I will give you the fully honest reason for why they just don’t work for whatever application you are trying to use them for. So, without any further ado let’s move on to the next part of the blog to learn more about the topic under discussion.

Welcome to the table, and before we get started I would like to just premise this by saying that the only human protection that works is the one that someone will wear. I also want to promise by saying this the purpose the blog is not based on merely to talk bad about generic ear plugs and drive our company business, and you will see that as we go throughout these products, how quickly you can go wrong when trying to find a working solution to your hearing protection needs. So let’s get started with the products on the table here:

Foam full-stop earplugs:

The first product up is a classic foam full-stop earplugs; this product is the most recognizable on the list as I am sure that everyone watching at one time in your life has confronted one of these. The objective would be the easiest simple. Cram the big block of pliable foam in your ear, here is a different technique for every person on the planet, some rolled foam, some squished foam, some cut the foam down in size and some get the foam so small that they need tweezers to extract them when they are done using it.

How to fit it to your ears:

The next step is when the foam plugs to your desired shape; you have to go about sticking it in your head. Once again, there is a different technique for every human being alive. You can turn your head, pinch you ear, stand on one foot, or you can just jam the plugin. then, finally comes the last part of the insertion experience, what I call the wait and pray phase when the foam starts to take a mind of its own, and you hope that the foam forms a shape of your ear canal.

Origination of the foam full-stop earplugs:

If you watch a tutorial by a gentleman named Elliot Birger, Elliot was involved in investing the EAR foam classic yellow earplug. This was his baby, and he spent more than 30 years singing its praises, saying that it would be the only type of earplug that would world. Finally, at the end of his career, he made a contradictory statement by saying that they don’t work for everybody.

If you paid attention to the video, he prefaced the entire time by saying that one size fits most. What is that supposed to mean? And for anybody who needed to have a separate solution, they would be asked to pinch their ears, pinch their ear the right way so you would slide the earplug in your ear, and it is frustrating at a time, where we are about to have space tourism and people are still using a foam earplug to jam in their head. Elliot has spent decades and decades spending the word of first-hearing conservation, which we are grateful for because he allowed our industry to thrive but, on the other side, he offered a generic solution to everybody but, what they did that was so wrong that we disagree with. In those videos, they put the blame on the user rather than the earplug.

Problem with the full-stop earplugs:

So, if it does not fit well and it is just your fault, and it is up to you to figure it out, and really we have a problem with that. We understand that its 2018, and there are several versions of the generic earplug. There are skull screws, Honeywell Howard, and then the 3m; however, what the issue is that foam earplugs are not made for your ears.

They are made for very few specific ears, maybe they are made for the dummy ears. Who knows, what they were modeled after, and if they are not modeled after your ear then, how are you going to get the right fit. How could you possibly get a correct fit in your ear, if it is not the right size? It just does not make sense, and if you ear canals have any irregular shapes or bends—which every ear does, as every ear is an individual ear include the two that you have it on your head, they vary widely from one another.

In a foam year earplug, it is going to be extremely uncomfortable, and it may cause more harm than good with infections and because it is not being worn correctly, you can cause your hearing damage, because you are not getting a rate reduction. On this note, when you watch a YouTube review, you must always remember that their ears are vastly different than yours. Just because it works for your favorite youtube, it does not mean that it would work great for you.


Triple flange earplugs:

Okay so now, we have talked about the foam plug, the next question arises that what are your next full stop choices, and since the foam earplugs are not going to cut it for you—the next logical progression would be a triple flange earplug. What they are is a creative riff on the foam earplugs, as they still involve the weight and prey techniques, like every time you put them in—you have a different seal. The tri-flange earplugs are made to sticking quickly and are once again a one-size-fits-all product, and they come in different sizes, and once again, they are not made for your specific ears. So, where, do you go from here, you have tried foamies and you have tried the tri-flanges.


Wax earplugs:

The next logical step is to jump into form-fitted plugs- now, this jump is large, as you have raised the comfort level; however, you will not gain the proper hearing protection reduction and the usual entry-level step into the formed earplugs are either with a wax or putty earplug. With wax earplugs, they are an interesting take on self-molding as it as it allows for a bit more customization, and because of the softness of the material, it is more comfortable. You are directed to shape the earplug as a cone, inserted into your ear canal, and then smooth it on the outside.

This may seem convenient; however, it is not! It is not a guarantee that you are going to mold the wax or putty in the right shape of your ear canal. It will not reduce the correct decimals or in extreme cases, the wax may become lodged in your ear and disconnect that can lead to costly hospital visits. The wax also invites foreign substances, including bacteria onto it, which makes it really hard to keep clean. So, if your taste is put off by wax or putty plugs, logically, you may turn to the heat and mold products. In the market today, companies such as Decibels and many different other heat-activated products will allow you to edge a little bit closer to a custom feeling as you heat them and stick many years before you stick them to the ear canal. But, what happens after you heat them and stick them to your ears is kind of up in the air.

They may take the right shape or not, and you may have to remove them as well as the risk of just causing massive irreparable damage and scorching the inner ear, and just really hurting yourself, and it did kind of get your mind around how kind of effect they are. If you remember back to elementary or middle school when you played football for the right time, part of your gear was that poor-fitting mouthguard that you boiled to fit your teeth, and then you are doing warm-ups for your first game, you just bit through it and it was pretty much useless.

This is how the heat and mold process works and the process and degradation of them is similar and the mold once again may not fit your ears, as with a lot of these you are given a limited tip size because they had to convert over to generic after their first tests, and just didn’t work because it did not give a right decibel reduction level and they could not get a consistent reading on theirs. Then, it comes a consistent risk of the mold losing the exact shape of your ear due to the exposure of heat in your environment. So, with the conclusion of the heat molded products, we come to the point in the road, where you have tried the foamies, you have tried the triple flanges, you have tried the wax hand molded products, and you have tried the heat and mold products.

Now, at this point, you are past the generic set because you are now having to alter the state of a plug to get it fit in your ears. The next logical step from the heat and fit if those won’t work for you is the two-part hand solution. But, before we go on to this solution, I have to always state that all of these products although a lot of the companies use the verbiage of Custom Earplugs—none of these are Custom Earplugs.

Even Elliot Birger with a generic set of foam earplugs, the most basic 3m full-stop earplugs states in his video that you can get a custom-fit with these, which is a totally illogical and incorrect statement on his behalf. These will not give you a custom fit, none of these products, even the ones that you attempt to fit and mold into your ear will not give you a custom fit.

It will give you a ballpark custom fit but not a specific Custom Ear plugs fit and that is a very very very important separation between custom and generic, and that is why we are doing this video.


Radians Earplugs:

Last, we come to the two-part hand-formed earplugs. Radians is a popular brand, and there are other hand molded companies in the world to buy. The main problem is shared by the wax putty and heat treated options is that because you are hand forming them and they will have a very hard time extending into your ear canal. And, it will only take an impression of your ear bowl, and the opening of your ear canal, and if you can get the material into your ear canal, you can force the ear wax deeper into your ear, and that can cause you a whole slew of problems.

What happens when you just get to the ear bowl and the outside of the ear canal, that is just going to run in the mold virtually useless, as it is not going to reduce the proper decibel levels, and you still face the risk of hearing loss. You can see in this example that the product does not extend down into the canal, where the hearing protection actually occurs, it take a very shallow impression which is not effective hearing protection.

So, to wrap this up, I believe that any hearing protection industry many lose sight of what is important and what’s important is the person using the product, your end customer, the customer that is going to put a product into their body and use it to protect themselves.

What happens is full-cast earplugs the net is cast so wide with these generic solutions that it just misses the mark, and I also believe that the products such as the self-molding wax or the heat treated earplugs are still a generic approach hearing protection. They assume that the user will be able to replicate a very specific and finite process and the impression making process is an art form. It really is, and you say which will if you want to have the right fitting product then, you would have to go through it and just like anything else in life. If you want the best, you have to go for the best. And you have to be patient and you have to seek it out, that is why we are here.

At the end of the day, wearing hearing protection is person, it should be Custom Earplugs—not a guessing game, it’s like purchasing generic contract lenses or shoes in one size that should fit everyone right and what I ask of you is to use your logic when searching for your next pair of earplugs, and consider your hearing for your lifetime and when you see the price of a higher-level hearing protection, including ours, think about what about your 80 year old self would tell you, and look at it as an investment into your future.

Now, we hope that this is giving you more of an insight into the reality of your options that are out in this world.


Why with all the technology has Noise-Induced Hearing Loss become the #1 Disease in the world?

There is a very famous painting by Goya that depicts a man sleeping, in his slumber he is marauded by all manner of creatures of the night.

The title of the haunting image is, “The sleep of reason produces monsters.”

Unfortunately, in 2018 where we are as technically proficient and as savvy as we have ever been, this depiction is something that is relatable in our current world.

I believe in the mindset that attempting to talk about the meaning of art defeats its purpose,

I do want to draw a parallel between this painting and what I see in my everyday life.

The common interpretation of what this piece of art is saying is that when you allow your reason to sleep bad things happen.

Which means that ignorance in its purest form is inherently evil as that ignorance does not allow the offender to understand that they have a choice.

Or the evil is not noticed as it is not perpetrated by any one person but by a mentality or an ideal.

This pure form of ignorance is embodied in cliche but ever poignant statements like, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

And why we still to this day have calamitous problems throughout our natural world.

So in the name of those who have stood for something in their lives we at Big Ear feel that we have the platform to speak about an evil that is being perpetrated every day.

As you read these words, this injustice is afflicting most of the individuals you know and the next generation and their children.

The evil I am pontificating about is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, and yes I do understand that Noise-Induced Hearing Loss when compared to the horrors of famine war and pestilence that exists in the world, seems like a ghost in a bed sheet.

However, in the long term, any form of Noice induced hearing loss can lead to major complications for those who are afflicted and will if nothing is done by those of us in our species, lead to millions of premature deaths and other horrible conditions that can all be avoided.

I do understand that our companies mission is not a holy crusade to fix all of the world’s problems and when you put our work into perspective we have had and will have a very small effect on the inhabitants of this massive world we live in, and we are ok with that.

It does seem in recent years that we are in a world that is obsessed with changing the world and leaving a massive impact on every person alive as there have been a very select few who have had that ability (Think Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Jeff Bezos, Neil Degrasse Tyson, and Bill Gates).

We have found in our experience (Which may be jaded and skewed) that change takes a very very long time and the change that we want to put into motion may not be realized in our lifetime, the lifetime of our children’s children or ever.

But that is not a good enough excuse to not try and do something about this invisible crime that steals away so many precious years and special moments. So what is the evil that we want to defeat, I touched on a small part of it earlier with my dramatic interpretation of Goya’s painting, and I identified the physical condition (Noise-Induced Hearing Loss) which is the result of the crime, but I did not touch on why Noise-Induced Hearing Loss still exists and is an accepted condition in our species.

And I must be fully honest and explain that we do not have the answer as to why people choose to not protect their hearing, and we have been doing this for 15 years.

There is a disconnection between the habits that cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss which is a debilitating disorder.

It’s is now defined as a disease.

A side note if you scoffed at that last comment, please do me a favor and visit a tinnitus help group, have a conversation with someone who is hyperacusis and find the joy that they find in life, or sit down with someone who has hearing aids and ask them to tell you how much they love them.

It’s obvious that Noise-Induced Hearing Loss causes strife in life and it is our companies objective to make life better, but it is up to those who read these words or hear our words to take steps in the right direction as the changes you make to your lifestyle now will echo in the later stages of your life.

And that is the big picture goal that we have for anyone reading this; it is our ambition to change one habit that’s all.

The habit is tricky to master as it is not apparent because it requires you to put up a barrier while at the same time expressing a vulnerability.

This elusive habit I am referring to is the habit of wearing hearing protection for sleeping. (Pause for effect) You heard it right hearing protection,  the sleep of reason the dramatic buildup culminates to you physically placing a piece of silicone, wax, foam or any version of hearing protection in your ears when you feel discomfort.

That’s it, that is the action that we have given our lives to.

But it does not start with the act, where proper hearing conservation begins is with knowledge, just like any other learned ability the act of protecting yourself begins with you learning first about why this action is important followed by the reciprocation on your side of seeking out answers and the circle is closed by both sides providing the other with the tools they need to make their lives better.

On your side, it is a baseline hearing test that identifies your hearing levels and on our side, you provide us with the data that will inform us on the habits you can take to ensure that you do not cause yourself future damage or the information to help you not further the damage you have already sustained.

That’s it that is the big picture, we want to help, and nothing else hurts us more than having the tools to prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and no one using them.

So we vow to attempt to awaken your reason, however as change goes in our species it is up to you the individual to take the positive steps forward for the betterment of your fellow human.


Why don't we wear hearing protection, Goya

We must wake up

Find out how to chose the right hearing protection.

Don’t Have A Nervous Breakdown!

– Rebecca K. Horton, RDA

If your job involves talking on the phone, then you already know how annoying it is to have a noisy environment. Your stress goes way up. You then pass your stress on to the person on the other end of your conversation (and everyone else you meet) and you ratchet up your stress with every second you have to continue that conversation when surrounding noises are distracting you from your task.

Exhaustion ensues. Effectiveness plummets. You run the risk of making people dislike you. Then you need a psychiatrist. And need meds. Your life is ruined! Or at least your day.

Very few of us have the privilege of a private office and even if we do, printers, fans, and outside noises will infringe.

If you’re like me, I work in an open dental office setting, subject to all the noise of the drills, suction, conversations, children playing (crying), doorbells ringing and miscellaneous machines such as vacuum former, vacuum cleaner, etc. My job demands that I be polite and charming.

I do not want to offend anyone. My nerves need to be real good.

So, I’m getting THE ONE for dental office personnel so that I can save my precious energy TODAY and save my precious hearing for my tomorrows.

Here are the hearing loss types:

  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Conductive
  • Sensorineural (Permanent loss from everyday noise)
  • Mixed

THE ONE manages the noise in the dentist office.

Dental Filtered Hearing Premium Hearing Protection



Rebecca K. Horton, RDA

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.


Why not be ahead of the curve and investigate hearing protection for yourself and your staff immediately?

Just because you don’t have an apparent hearing loss issues at the moment does not mean that all is well. Protection with custom fitted ear plugs or THE ONE, specifically designed for dentists is recommended heartily. Such a simple solution to a big problem.


In the dental profession we are accustomed to scientific terms, so this time I’m going to give it to you in scientific terms:

  • This main organ of hearing is the cochlea and is part of your inner ear. Cochlear Damage means that all or part of your inner ear has been hurt. Damage to the cochlea typically causes permanent hearing loss. This is called sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).
  • A Mixed Hearing Loss occurs when SHL and Conductive Hearing Loss are present. 
  • Most dentists will practice about 35 years, with an average of 4 days per week, 50 weeks a year.  56,000 hours of exposure to dB above the OSHA limit of 86 dB is enough to make a dentist (and his staff) suffer serious hearing loss.  Why wait til we’re mandated?
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss causes the fine hairs that line the canal to go away.  Baldness of the ear canal, if you will. Once human hair cells have died, they cannot be regenerated. NOT REVERSIBLE. The cochlea is a snail-shaped, fluid-filled structure in the inner ear. Inside the cochlea is another structure called the organ of Corti. Hair cells are located on the basilar membrane of the cochlea. The cilia (the hair) of the hair cells make contact with another membrane called the tectorial membrane.
  • Intermittent and continuous noise from high speed evacuation systems, drills, compressed air, amalgamators (yes, some of us still use amalgam), ultrasonic cleaners, model trimmers, vacuum pumps, handpiece oiling systems, autoclave release, phones, radio, tv, kids, parents, staff, air conditioning units, and toilet flushes contribute to Sensorineural Hearing Loss issues. A loss that occurs when these types of sound cause damage to the cochlea or the nerve pathways from the inner ear.  Every day. If you add in the Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, chemicals, medications and Auditory Neuropathy you have a prescription for heartbreaking hearing loss issues.


Why not be ahead of the curve and investigate hearing protection for yourself and your staff immediately? 

Contact and let the experts with years of experience help you before it’s too late. 

OSHA will catch up to us soon enough. 

A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Integration of Dentistry and the One, a Guarantee to Tinnitus and Hearing Loss Prevention

Over the course of the years, dentists have been on the receiving end of  Tinnitus and hearing loss consequences emanating from their own practice. Apart from minor hand injuries and torn muscles operating on teeth, they experience continuous exposure to noise pollution. The sources of the noise they experience originate from the tools they use and from the natural environment. Some of the tools they use such as the handpieces generate too much noise which when the ear is exposed to for a long time, the dentist risks hearing loss. From the natural environment, the ear picks noise from the cries by the clients or from the people in the room during surgery. Without dentists, some of our toothache problems may lack an amicable solution, tooth alignment may stall and tooth removal cease. If the dentists are such a blessing to us, why do they go down the victims of tinnitus and hearing loss?

The One dental earplug

The One is a customized earplug specifically designed for the dentists. These earplugs prevent exposure of the ear to excessive noise from both the machines and the natural environment during operations. The One functions with two filters. There is the primary filter on the outside and the secondary filter in the inside. The primary filter filters general noise from the environment and machines. The secondary filter filters the unwanted noise before it reaches the eardrum.

The One Premium Series, With all the bells and whistles. Included are 4 sets of filters, one set of filter blocks, one tactical piece, and the filtered earplugs. to prevent tinnitus and hearing loss

The One Premium Series, With all the bells and whistles. Included are 4 sets of filters, one set of filter blocks, one tactical piece, and the filtered earplugs.

Importance of using the One dental earplug

The major difference between the big Ears’ the One dental earplug is that it allows for a certain limit of noise exposure. The two filters work simultaneously thereby controlling the type of noise that ends up in the inner ear. From the outside of the ear, the primary filter regulates the amount of noise entering the earplug from both the natural environment and the dental surgery equipment. Unlike other earplugs with a single filter, the One dental earplug has two to filters which collectively work together to regulate the amount of noise entering the inner ear.

On the second filter, the One dental earplug has the secondary filter installed. The secondary filter ensures only the natural voices access the inner ear. Additionally, it only allows up to 85dB. This implies that only the allowed noise pressure can penetrate the earplug. As for the One dental earplug, the allowed noise include natural sounds such as of the patient and the surgery crew. This earplug bars other types of noises from reaching the inner ear.

In addition, the dental earplug regulates the intensity of the noise that penetrates to the inner ear. This standardized feature does not discriminate the source of the noise. Therefore, even if the noise comes from the natural source, the secondary filter will filter it out. For instance, the earplug cancels the noise from a patient that screams exposing the eardrum of the dentist to a noise pressure exceeding 85dB. On the other hand, the earplug allows any other natural sound with pressure below 85dB into the eardrum.

Big Ear custom Earplugs make my life bearable from tinnitus and hearing loss

The ringing in your ears stays with you 24/7. It’s like having a toothache forever.

Tinnitus and hearing loss, a risk associated with loud noise exposure

According to the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 5 out of 10 retired dentist experience tinnitus. In the same study, they discovered that a third of the people suffering from tinnitus seek medical assistance which proves quite expensive. Two out of five people suffering from tinnitus successfully recover using this medication whilst the rest remain in the irreversible state. In cases of tinnitus irreversibility, the dentist risks permanent ear loss.

Tinnitus refers to the perception of a type of a ringing sound by a person whereas the sound is non-existent. Over the course of the years, scientists have tried explaining what really causes tinnitus and what the potential treatment may be. In as much as they cannot precisely deduct the cure for tinnitus, they relate treatment by studying the causes. They relate tinnitus and hearing loss to the related illnesses and understanding the symptoms to help ease, manage or block out the ringing-in-the-ear sensation.

How tinnitus develop

There are several factors preempted to cause tinnitus. However, the major cause is prolonged exposure to of the ear to intensive noise. This exposure leads to the inner ear cell damage. Exposing an ear to high-intensity sound causes the inner delicate hairs to move in the direction of the sound waves. This triggers the ear cells to produce an electrical signal through the auditory nerve to the brain. The signals sent to the brain translates into sound. In cases where the inner hairs in the inner ear break or bend, a random electrical signal sent to the brain cause tinnitus and hearing loss.

Tinnitus symptoms

The main symptom of tinnitus is the ability to hear imaginary sounds when there is no actual sound in the environment. Some of the phantom noises from the ear associated with tinnitus include the following:

  1. A ringing sound, which may become louder or lighter with time.
  2. A frequent buzzing sound
  3. A roaring sound.
  4. A hissing sound

These sounds may occur in one or both ears. In some cases, the noise may become so loud that it interferes with a person’s concentration. The sound may be irritating hindering a person from hearing the actual sounds in the environment.

Causes of tinnitus

  1. Exposure to loud noise

This is the major cause of tinnitus. Continuous exposure to loud noise increases chances of the inner hair of the ear-bending or breaking. When the hair breaks, it triggers the auditory nerve to send irregular electrical signals to the brain triggering tinnitus. The dentists while performing their tooth surgeries, they use noisy equipment such as the handpieces. Such equipment produces a large volume of noise to the ear. Continuous use of the same equipment by the same dentist without an earplug exposes them to greater danger of developing tinnitus and hearing loss.

Other causes

  1. Age-related causes

As a person ages, they become vulnerable to presbycusis. Such a condition occurs when a person approaches the 60th age. The person tends to wear out in terms of their hearing capability. The more a person experiences ear loss, the higher the chances of developing tinnitus.

  1. Earwax blockage

Earwax protects the ear canal by trapping the dirt and preventing bacterial development in the ear. However, when the earwax over accumulates in the ear canal, it may cause ear loss or irritation in the ear canal which may cause tinnitus and hearing loss.

Tinnitus causes for dentists

Several scientists have hypothesized different possible causes of tinnitus. Some relate tinnitus to head injuries, acoustic neuroma, blood vessel disorders and other medications such as antibiotics and aspirin. In all their arguments, they appreciate that the major and legit cause of tinnitus in the dentist is exposure to noise.

Following the nature of the working environment the dentists, they cannot resist exposure to noise. Over the course of their carrier, they continuously expose their ears to excessive noise from both the materials, which they use and the patients themselves. The materials in their laboratories produce a high volume of noise, which may trigger tinnitus and hearing loss when exposed for long. Other sources of noise in the office are the natural cause. Natural causes include the noise from the surgery personnel and the patients.

Complications that come with tinnitus

Tinnitus affects a person wholesomely. The quality of life of the person deteriorates differently. According to a research by the department of health and human service, one may experience the following complications alongside tinnitus and hearing loss.

a. Fatigue

People with tinnitus and hearing loss experience frequent fatigue without a proper course. Others may feel lazy in handling even the slightest of house chores.

b. Stress, which develops due to continuous worries of the condition one, is in. Continued stress develops into depression.

c. Sleeping problems

d. Concentration issues

e. Irritability especially in the inner ear.

f. Depression arises with excessive worrying of the situation one is in.

General tinnitus preventive measures

  • Turn down the machine volume. Long-term exposure to loud music through headphones increases chances of developing tinnitus. For music listeners, reducing the music volume may help reduce chances of tinnitus infection. However, this preventive measure fails to apply to dentists. They cannot turn down the volume of noise produced by their machines.
  • Take care of cardiovascular health as a routine. Prevention of tinnitus and hearing loss linked to blood disorders is achievable through right diets, regular exercise and taking steps aimed at ensuring one attains a clean blood vessel. This preventive measure is applicable to the dentist. However, the tinnitus in dentists is not blood-linked.

Tinnitus and Hearing loss preventive measure for dentists

Using the Big Ear’s the One dental earplugs. As stated earlier, the One dental earplug is the one stop shop for a customized earplug for dentists. At Big Ear Earplug Company, thorough research on earplugs enhances production of the right kind of earplug any dentists would desire. The company ensures a dentist is comfortable in their earplugs, they provide after-purchase services where they trace the client’s progress. Finally, the earplug has two filters, the primary and the secondary filter. The primary filter prevents noise penetration from the environment whilst the secondary ensures only the natural noise such as of the patient penetrates to the inner ear of the dentist. Using the One dental earplug is the only safe way that guarantees a person total protection from tinnitus and hearing loss.

Tinnitus – Please Don’t Go Insane

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA


Tinnitus.  Tin-nie- tis. Tin nit us.

Say it any way you like but what a demon in your ear! 

Would you believe that people have actually committed suicide over tinnitus the new plague?  It’s true!  Most people don’t suffer that badly with it, but if you do please seek immediate help with an ear, nose and throat physician and tell them the truth about how it’s making you think really bad thoughts about hurting yourself.

There is no known cure for Tinnitus but some help may be available.  I personally find relief from it when I’m at my favorite spot on the Redneck Rivera down in the Gulf of Mexico.  The ocean has the right sound to cancel out the high pitch, electrical whine/squeal that I have in my left ear all the time.  Whenever I’m ill,  of course, it’s much worse and all I can tell you is that at this point in my life I would do ANYTHING to keep it from progressing.

 I am having custom ear plugs made so that the damaging noises that I’ve tolerated for years can be quieted and offer me some relief. Big Ear offers a product known as THE ONE that offers noise cancellation properties while allowing me to hear the necessary sounds of my job in a dental office. I’m hopeful that it will help with the Tinnitus as well.

I remember the medicine-related times that have helped create my Tinnitus:   One, a high dose of aspirin at age 18 and two, a high dose of Iodine later in life.  The Iodine also caused some dry, burning mouth issues that I thought would NEVER go away. (I’m much better thank you!)

Like most everyone else, I LOVE music and rock and roll is best served up in a bone-jarring dB.  I can remember having temporary hearing issues after nights out dancing.  That was kind of scary!

And the sickest I have ever been in my life was a series of illnesses inner ear infections.  I lost my balance, experienced crushing pain, and endured barbaric treatment that consisted of a copper wire being stuck in my ear and having to take the world’s nastiest antibiotics – SULPHA.  After I had my wisdom teeth out, I never had an inner ear infection again.  I really thought I was losing my mind and my hearing during that!  WHEW. Back to the subject.

Some of the known causes of Tinnitus are:

Contributing to Tinnitus and also becoming a problem of Tinnitus worsening include:

  • Smoking
  • Fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, irritability, memory, sleeping
  • Concentration can become an issue
  • More exposure to high dB – wind noise, occupational noise, lawn mowing, barking dogs, etc.

The only good news is, mostly Tinnitus, in and of itself, is not a sign of a more severe health issue.  Maybe we should consider it a strong warning.

Prevention is the key to tinnitus the new plague, one such way is Custom ear plugs by Big Ear and other products by Big Ear could help by teaching you about these hazards and providing the proper protection to help you avoid further deterioration.

There’s a great free app called Tinnitus Describer so that you can identify your Tinnitus.  Wherever you are on the scale, don’t allow it to get worse!


Big Ear's The One M.E.T Select Series For Marching Band

(The One®) Select Series is the second tier selection in our M.E.T series. Furthering the idea of the standard set we wanted to give you as more choices to protect yourself.


University Of South Carolina





USC Marching Band Students

Big Ear will be back for the 4th year at USC.

We will be able to make impressions for your Custom Marching Band Hearing protection.

Payment will be taken at this time as well.

Monday, August 12: 9am-Noon
Wednesday, August 14: 4pm-5: 30 pm
Thursday, August 15: Noon-1pm


Why Do I Need Hearing protection?

Musicians around the world are suffering from hearing loss more than ever before as they have spent a lifetime without wearing any form of marching band hearing protection.

Surveys of universities reveal that more than 60% of band members suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in their ears, and more than 50% suffer from Noise-induced hearing loss. According to the World Health Organization, loss of hearing has escalated over the past 20 years and shows no sign of slowing down.

Band members have an increased risk for hearing loss as they have spent a majority of their young lives playing loud instruments near each other and during this time they have been exposed to horribly dangerous and irresponsible decibel levels without being warned about the lifelong pain and discomfort that they may potentially face due to playing in the band. Most musical instruments used in marching bands produce sound levels ranging from 92 – 126 dB as shown below will if unregulated or protected against cause irreparable hearing loss and may have already caused you tinnitus (Ringing in the ears). 

Here are actual sound level meter readings from the practice field and at a football game.

Marching Band Sound level meter readingsMarching Band Sound level reading

USC Marching Band At a gameListening is everything


The Problem

Hearing protection companies have done a very poor job creating products that allow musicians to still hear their Balance, intonation, and note accuracy when playing a piece of music as a generic earplug or generic musician earplug creates an uncomfortable muffling effect. In order for any form of hearing protection to work, the players must understand when they should be wearing the protection and then wear it. Students should be cultivating the mindset that hearing protection is the most important piece of equipment (other than their instrument) they have. And unfortunately, because companies have opted for the quick cash grab, they have in turn muddied the waters and established a sub-par standard for hearing protection rather than providing a product that actually works.

The Solution

We were angered by the lack of foresight and the overall laziness on the part of hearing protection companies who at the time felt that mediocre filtered hearing protection left it up to the musician to adjust to their third-party product. In response to this, we spent five years traveling from place to place meeting and discussing hearing conservation with musicians and band Directors. We concluded that there was no form of marching band hearing protection that existed that could allow the musician to be comfortable with the earplug in their ears and not degrade the way that they hear the environment around them. The challenge was set.

Our team worked for months alongside Dr. Weiss, Director of Band, Dr.Thomas Bough and hundreds of musicians from the University of South Carolina, MSU and NIU, to come up with a solution.

We looked at what every individual musician needed from the piccolo to the drum line and developed a patented solution to give musicians total situational awareness while focusing on comfort and hearing protection.

The result was our Musician Earplug Trainer, a two-part non-linear and linear filtered earplug that allows the musician to be protected from decibels over 85 decibels while never being taken out of their immediate surroundings due to the plugged up feeling that earplugs give a performing artist. After releasing the product into the world, the feedback was outstanding and we refined the product to what it is now, little did we know we were in for a rude awakening.

Months passed and we decided to hit the road just like musical artists to promote our new product to bands across the country. However, what we found upon arrival at most of the universities that we visited was heartbreaking. Musicians were understandably wary of filtered earplugs as they had already been bitten once by bad filtered earplugs and most of the students that we saw had no hearing protection in their ears, many cited that our products were too expensive (which upon reflection, they are pricey but not completely unaffordable) while others claimed that they were not feeling any ill effects from the band and are happy not protecting their hearing.

This confounded us and we had an a-ha moment, maybe it’s not only the products themselves but the education around hearing conservation that is extremely lacking. From that point on we have made the education of proper hearing conservation our guiding light and with each school that we visit our goal is to not just sell a piece of equipment but to educate young and old performers on proper hearing conservation and increase the probability that you will be able to play your music comfortably for as long as you choose. 

What We Do

The process is straightforward. We visit your school and discuss the goals of hearing conservation that you have for your band. After, we take that information and create a custom-tailored installment plan for your specific needs. We have the ability to finance products and we make our products as easily as accessible as possible.

As music lovers, we want to do whatever is possible to protect band members and preserve music as a safe and honored tradition. We welcome you to assist us in that goal.

As we know all too well, there will still be a great majority of players who will choose to go without hearing protection when you play or a greater portion of you who will choose to suffer through generic poor fitting earplugs. While we here wish that we could make a set of our earplugs for every player we visit, that is just not a reality. What I can offer is a few tips on how to conserve your hearing starting right now.

  1. If you feel any sensation in your ears, speak up. Your section leaders and band directors are across the board caring people with a healthy appreciation for music and those who make it, so don’t ever feel like you are being bothersome if you talk to them about pain in your ears.
  2. Notice the times of your rehearsal when the music peaks and prepare yourself by having a cheap pair of foam earplugs to stick in for that overwhelmingly loud duration.
  3. Distance yourself from an unruly player. If there is a member of your band who is known to let off an extra loud trumpet, piccolo, alto sax, or drum solo after you finish a song, try to distance yourself from the blast zone and be aware of your surroundings.
  4. Hand in hand with tip number 3, talk to that person about their habit and politely ask them to be mindful of their fellow musicians around them.
  5. If you are taking any medication, talk to your doctor or school nurse about the interaction of the specific medications with decibel levels as there are hundreds of medications that can damage your inner ear hair cells and cause you permanent hearing damage.
  6. In the same light If you hear the word ototoxic followed by the name of a medication you are taking speak to your doctor and band director immediately
  7. If you hear for any reason at all ringing in your ears, address the sensation immediately with your section leader or band director.

Now that we have prepared you for life without our product, below this picture is a list of reasons why we believe you would benefit greatly from wearing what we provide.

Big Ear's The One M.E.T Select Series For Marching Band

(The One®) Select Series is the second tier selection in our M.E.T series. Furthering the idea of the standard set we wanted to give you multiple decibel reduction choices.


A list of the reasons why The One is right for you

1. It’s clear and not very visible which will reduce the comments of your peers.
2. Unlike cheap foamies and generic musician earplugs, the one does not hurt when you wear them all day as they are custom made to your ears.
3. By wearing them all day, you will reduce the chances of getting dosed if someone decides to blast their instrument during downtime in a rehearsal session.
4. Because of the dual filter system, you can hear everyone and everything around you clearly and not miss anything.
5. When you are playing, you can hear the color of the music and stay in beat and in tune with your fellow players.
6. When the full band is playing, you can hear your own instrument and your section while being protected from the massive decibels that you produce.
7. You will be protecting your most important investment, and that is your hearing. As you get better at your craft, you can be assured that you will have your hearing for the rest of your life.

We will be attending the opening camp day August 15 from 9am-6pm to make this hearing protection available for the students.

During this time we will make custom Impressions. The clear earplug is lab generated and takes 21 business day to build and ship. If you order the filtered earplugs you will receive our main specialized filter (a 20-decibel blue filter as seen in the picture below) that you can use in a generic earplug until your custom plugs arrive in the mail.

We take all form of payment and on the 15th we will be able to finance our hearing protection with a $50.00 down payment.

Recently we have developed a three-tiered product option kit for musicians that allows the player to have more flexibility in how they wish to protect their hearing.

The first is our Custom Musician Earplug Standard Series that comes with  One set of filters, a lanyard, a Big Ear-cup, and case. (Click the link to see the product on our website)

How the One works.



The One Standard series

Custom Musician EarPlugs

Filtered Earplugs For Musicians. Allows the musician to hear their music and others around them while eliminating the plugged up feeling of earplugs while playing.










The second tier is the select series that includes an extra filter set so you can adjust the decibel levels that you reduce. The orange set in the picture below is a 25-decibel reduction, we also have a green 15 dB reduction and a purple 9-decibel reduction.


Marching Band Hearing Protection “Select series”

Big Ear's The One M.E.T Select Series For Marching Band

(The One®) Select Series is the second tier selection in our M.E.T series. Furthering the idea of the standard set we wanted to give you as more choices to protect yourself.










The Third Choice is our marching band hearing protection premium set with all 4 sets of filters for all your needs. (9 dB, 15 dB, 20 dB and 25 dB) Filters, one pop chord two filter plugs and a tactical piece with a rugged case.


Marching Band Hearing Protection Premium Series


Filtered Ear Plugs, Custom, Musician earplugs, Tactical Pieces, Rugged Case

The magnum opus of our Met Series, with all four filters, one pop chord, one tactical piece two filter plugs and a rugged carrying case this is the best money can buy










We wish you the best this season and if you have any questions you can contact us at any time via the website or the phone number 719-271-9081 or email us at [email protected] If you wish to have a different selection of filters with your filtered set simply specify which one you would like when you have your impressions made.


Trumpet Player Testimonial



Alto Sax Testimonial



A second Trumpet testimonial



Serenity Now

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA


Yesterday I was so tired I didn’t think I could even go to dinner with my husband.

Why?  Well, the noisy old day and all the stress had just about worn me out.


I decided to do an experiment.  I recently was fitted for custom ear plugs while at the BMW Motorcycles of America Rally. It was held at the Des Moines Iowa Fairgrounds so it was a large meeting, with lots of vendors and attendees.  I stopped by the Big Ear Incorporated booth and a very nice young many by the name of Stone Hood took my impressions and made custom plugs while I waited.


The convention hall was so noisy you had to shout to be heard.  The moment he placed the impression material in my ear the noise stopped! I felt immediate relief and had one of those “aha!” Yet  “ahhhh“ moments.   I could hear him talking to me and another person who was asking questions, but no noise!  It was like a little vacation!


So yesterday when I was terribly exhausted, I went outside and sat on the steps, put my custom ear plugs in and took a five-minute SERENITY NOW break.  Just breathing in the fresh air and relaxing a bit.


In a few minutes, my energy returned and I was able to enjoy my evening.


Custom ear plugs by Big Ear Incorporated can do a lot more than just keep the wind quiet when you’re riding your motorcycle. Vacuuming the floors is easier, lawn mowing, weed eating, etc. Why suffer when you can relax and listen to your own thoughts? Ahhhhhhh……..  : )

Custom Ear plug serenity

Noisy Like A School Lunchroom Crossed With a Subway Station

Rebecca K. Horton, RDA


I saw an ad for a class coming up today with the subject line: CHANGING HOW WE FEEL BY CHANGING HOW WE THINK.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve had plenty of positive thinking classes in my time, and I’ve read dozens of books on the subject, even recorded an audiobook called “100 Tips for Everyday Anger Management”, available on I-Tunes.  It made me stop and think. Hmmmm.  Maybe CHANGING HOW WE THINK BY CHANGING THE WAY WE FEEL is what we really need.

No hearing protection, on my last nerve


I had a frank talk with our staff today about their perception of noise in the dental office.  Apparently, I DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. Yet.

Sara said “Sometimes I go to the bathroom and hold my hands over my ears and pray to MAKE IT STOP, LORD! when everyone is talking with their patients all at once, the television is on in every room, the radio is on, kids are on their cell phones, equipment is buzzing, the phone is ringing, the doorbell, the lab, the crying…”

Lisa said “Sometimes the suction bothers me so much that I get into my car at the end of the day and I cannot stand to have the radio on – I drive home in silence.  I am so relieved to have the quiet.”

Dr. said “I lose my train of thought when the office is too noisy and I find myself getting impatient with everyone, myself included.  I lose my place and sometimes my temper, sad to say.  That really wears me out.”

Rhonda said “How am I supposed to talk on the phone with a patient with all that racket? It’s so hard to hear what the patient is saying.  How can I be effective with all that? I can’t remember who I’m even talking to sometimes!”

The truth is, we come into work because we love what we do.  We just don’t like what the work does to us. We get ground down every day and no amount of POSITIVE THINKING can save you when you—PERSONALLY—are thrashed. And just because we start EVERY DAY DOWN IN THE MOUTH…lol… doesn’t mean we have to (figuratively) STAY there!

So, how about this, if we become what we think about all day long, what is it we become when we can’t hear ourselves think?  Not gonna be your Super Bowl Performance is it?  If you don’t care if you lose your hearing, well, alrighty then.

But why lose another day to a bad mood due to noise pollution?

Finally, Dental hearing protection that does not act like Ear Plugs.

The Best Dentist Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

The Best Dentist Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

Hearing Loss and Prevention in the Dental Office Setting


Rebecca K. Horton

According to NIOSH, National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health, the most common occupational injury of all is noise-induced hearing loss, not only in dental offices but everywhere.  Today, we’re going to discuss dental offices and NIHL, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Most dentists, hygienists, and assistants dedicate years to their careers in this important healthcare field. However, they’re at significant risk from an often undetected threat.  Just as the dental community discovered that losing teeth wasn’t a normal part of aging, neither is most hearing loss!

The three factors that cause hearing loss are:


In the dental office we have:


These sounds are tolerated on a daily basis with little thought to the damage actually occurring. 

The NIHL types are:


The loss that the dental industry suffers falls into the “boiling the frog” category. In other words, you don’t know you’re “well done” until it’s too late!

Sound, of course, is measured in Decibels and 86 dB is considered over the limit.

  • HIGH-SPEED HANDPIECE – 66 dB to 100 dB
  • HIGH-SPEED EVACUATION – up to 100 dB
  • SALIVA EJECTOR – up to 60 dB
  • VACUUM FORMER – up to 90 dB
  • AIR IN LAB – over 100 dB

You can check your levels free on several phone apps.  Try DECIBEL X to check your base levels.

Ear protection is a must.  Losing your hearing isn’t a normal part of aging.  Please take steps to safeguard your hearing and the hearing of others in your practice. Don’t forget to spread the word to others so the next generation of dental professionals doesn’t have to suffer the same loss.

Custom dental earplugs are available to prevent permanent hearing loss. There’s NO CURE, only PREVENTION.  Dentists know the truth about PREVENTION more than any other group of professionals.

The Best Marching Band Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select

The Best Dentist Custom Earplugs (The One®) Select