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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

The pinna

11/17/2009

Question:

Why does ‘cupping’ the pinna with your hand or a headphone provide better protection from loud sounds than ear plugs?"

Answer:

Ear plugs do a good job for most kinds of noise exposure (depending upon the type of ear plug), but the hand can provide additional protection to the ear.  For very loud sounds, ear muffs can also help and are some times used more frequently.

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Response by:

Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Skull Base Surgery Fellowship, Director of Adults Cochlear Implantation Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati