Protect your hearing with customized gear

Monday, November 1, 2021

By: Alysha Schertz

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Exposure to loud, sudden, or prolonged noises can cause permanent damage to your hearing at any age. The best way to protect your hearing is to use hearing protection.


Hearing Center BayCare Clinic has a variety of hearing protection devices that alleviate a lot of the traditional complaints with ear plugs or earmuffs, says Dr. Jessie Grzeca, an audiologist with Hearing Center BayCare Clinic.


Among those complaints:

“They’re not comfortable.”

“They don’t stay in my ears.”

“I can’t hear other people talking.”

“I’m a hunter, and if I’m wearing ear plugs or earmuffs, I can’t hear the deer coming up behind me.”


“We hear kind of the same complaints every time,” Grzeca says.


Hearing Center BayCare Clinic provides a range of products that include stock and custom ear plugs complete with special filters.


“What the filters do is help allow the sound to come in so there is awareness of what is going on around you,” Grzeca says. “You can communicate with other people nearby with these plugs in, but you can still get the reduction of noise that is going to prevent any damage to your hearing from whatever noise is going on around you.”


The filters area available in both the stock and custom options, she added.


Custom filters are molded specifically to the ear, allowing for comfortable long-term wear, and have options for customizing for specific noises and sounds.


“We know a lot of people out there, especially during hunting season, are exposing their ears to damaging amounts of noise without any ear plugs or earmuffs to help prevent that hearing loss down the road,” Grzeca says.


Any noises over 140 decibels have the potential to cause immediate, and sometimes permanent, damage, Grzeca says. Sound from a 12-gauge shot gun registers at approximately 160 decibels.


Cost and individual comfort play a huge role in the selection of ear protection devices, but always choose devices that bring the sound exposure to under 100 decibels.


“We do offer both (custom and stock options),” Grzeca says. “You’re gaining a lot of benefit with the stock because they are readily available. You can walk into our office … and we’ll be able to hand them to you right then and there.”


Custom-molded ear plugs are more expensive and take a few weeks to create but last a long time and will be more comfortable for longer-term wear, she says.


Talk with a Hearing Center BayCare Clinic audiologist about what type of hearing protection is best for you. We see people in Green Bay, Kaukauna, Marinette and Two Rivers.


Dr. Jessie Grzeca sees people of all ages in Green Bay. To request an appointment, call 920-288-8230 or do so online.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.