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Ear Muffs and Reducing Noise for Sensory Sensitivity

Do you ever experience sensory overload is noisy public places?  Are you questioning if buying noise cancelling ear muffs will help your child with sensory sensitivity to noise?  Perhaps you are asking yourself how can I protect my baby’s hearing?  In this article you will learn about earmuffs and how they are used to  reduce noise to help with sensory sensitivity.  You will learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What are all the phrases used to describe noise-cancelling earmuffs?
  • Why does noise reduction help sensory overload?
  • What are the different ways I can reduce noise sensitivity in public places?
  • Where do people wear noise-cancelling earmuffs?
  • What should I look for when buying earmuffs to reduce noise?
  • What are examples of earmuffs for kids?
  • What are examples of noise cancelling ear muffs for work?
  • What are examples of noise cancelling ear muffs for sleeping?
  • What are all the phrases used to describe noise-cancelling earmuffs?
Ear muffs - sensory sensitivity

It is important you first learn that there are many different phrases used to describe noise-cancelling earmuffs that sometimes refer to different products altogether.  You may find that confusing, so it is helpful to learn about all the phrases you might see used.

  • Ear muff
  • Earmuffs
  • Noise cancelling ear muffs
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Noise reducing ear muffs
  • Noise reducing headphones
  • Noise reduction ear muffs
  • Noise reduction headphones

Ear muff or earmuffs.  Sometimes these words are used to describe thermal ear coverings worn in winter that are not really designed to reduce noise significantly.  But ear muff and earmuffs are also words uses to describe ear coverings that are specially designed to reduce noise.

Noise cancelling or noise reduction or noise reducing.  Cancelling, reduction and reducing are often used interchangeably.

Noise cancelling is most often used to describe a special type of headphone that is used to listen to music or to wear while talking on the telephone where back ground noise is reduces.  But you will also sometimes see noise cancelling to describe headphones that are not connected (wired or wirelessly) to music or sound.  Ensure you are purchasing the right device.

Noise reduction or noise reducing earmuffs or headphones are words that are often used to describe over the ear protection that generally reduced environmental noises.  You also might see people wear these devices at a shooting range, at a noisy workplace due to health and safety standards.

Headphones.  The word headphones is sometimes used instead of ear muffs.  But headphones are often describing devices used to listen to music, or be on the phone not simply to block out or reduce sound in general.

Why does noise reduction help sensory overload?

Hearing is one of the senses. Noise, even a little bit of noise, can be a contributing factor to people of all ages experiencing sensory overload.  Understand more about sensory overload (link).  People with sensory sensitivity may be bothered by specific noises or by noisy environments.  For children that might be in at school the classroom or on the playground.  Or out in the community.  For adults that also might be at work.

What are the different ways I can reduce noise sensitivity in public places?

Wearing noise-reducing earmuffs is one way to reduce noise sensitivity in public places.  Another tip is to look for events or places that offer a sensory friendly experience.  You can find sensory friendly experiences in the Sensory Friendly Finder (link).

Where do people wear noise-cancelling earmuffs?

Children, adults and seniors all wear noise-cancelling earmuffs.  You might see people wearing them at:

  • home
  • school
  • work
  • concerts
  • shooting ranges
  • grocery stores
  • amusement parks
  • many other public places

At a music performance, you might see many kids wearing children’s ear protection for concerts.  Parents often ask themselves, how can I protect my baby’s hearing?  So even infants and toddlers wear noise cancelling earmuffs at concerts.

What should I look for when buying earmuffs to reduce noise?

  • What is the NRR?

NRR stands for Noise Reduction Rating.  It is a standardized system that measures how much hearing protection is offered by a noise reducing device.  It is reported in decibels, which is a measure of sound.  The higher the NRR, the more sound reduction is offered.

  • Does someone need to carry the earmuffs? Do they fold? How easily can they be transported?
  • Does color matter?
  • Are they the right size? Is the head strap adjustable?
  • Are they comfortable to wear? Are they too tight?  Too loose?
  • Is the head strap padded?
  • Am I looking for something to reduce noise from the environment in general or while listening to music or speaking on the phone?
  • Am I looking for something for sleep?

What are examples of earmuffs for kids?

This is an example of earmuffs for kids that comes in different colors and has an adjustable headband that is also padded.

What are examples of noise cancelling earmuffs for work?

An important tip to remember when buying noise cancelling earmuffs for work is to check the Noise Reduction Rating recommended for the work environment by health and safety standards.

Note that some people wear noise cancelling earmuffs at their desks in busy, open office spaces with a lot of noise too.

What are examples of noise cancelling ear muffs for sleeping?

Did you know that there are earmuffs specially designed for sleeping?  They are often in combination with an eye mask to block out both noise and light.  The ear portion is also softer.  Remember to exercise caution with anything used for sleep to ensure safety.

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