In general, when the level of sound is 85dB or louder one should use hearing protection. Even with the ability of smart phones that have sound level meter applications this can be difficult to measure, so the best advice is that when in doubt use hearing protection (once you lose your hearing it is gone so why take the chance?).
There are also many factors that may dictate the kind of hearing protection that one may want to use. In general there are two basic types of hearing protection, Ear canal plugs and ear muffs. The type that one uses may be dictated by the type of work that one may be doing, level of noise, the NRR rating needed, comfort and personal choice. In general earmuffs provide the greatest reduction in noise however they can also be bulky and more expensive. Earplugs are less expensive and more comfortable, however the noise reduction rating can be less and there can be greater variability in noise reduction due to the placement of the plugs in the ear canal. The best reduction of noise can be accomplished when both earplugs and earmuffs are used together.
Contact Colorado Hearing Specialists today to get your hearing tested and to learn more about how to protect the precious gift of hearing! 720-842-1890