What hinders your hearing protection from working properly? Here are 3 things to watch for.
Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you run into something that can impede the effectiveness of your ear protection. That’s difficult to cope with. After all, you’re trying to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a show, you wear your earplugs; At work, you use earmuffs every day; and you do your best to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is always shouting in your ear.
The point is, it can be a bit discouraging when you’re doing everything right and still there are issues. Luckily, you can take some measures to protect yourself once you understand what types of things can impede the performance of your ear protection. And this will keep your hearing protection working effectively even when you’re having a bit of trouble.
1. Using The Wrong Kind of Ear Protection
Hearing protection comes in two standard types: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are small and, as the name indicates, can be inserted right into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they provide protection for your hearing by muting outside sound.
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in a setting where the sound is relatively constant.
- When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are recommended.
The reasons for that are relatively obvious: you’ll want to remove your hearing protection when it isn’t noisy, and that’s less difficult to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs are incredibly easy to lose (especially if they’re cheap and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a scenario where you remove an earplug, misplace it, and then need it later.
You will be okay if you wear the correct protection in the right situation.
2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Ear Protection
There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such large vocal cords and you have more normal-sized vocal cords. It’s also why your ear canal might be smaller than the average individual’s.
This can cause problems with your ear protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. So, maybe you give up in frustration because you have tiny ear canals, and you quit using any hearing protection.
If you find yourself in this situation, you could turn away from the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. Another instance of this is individuals with large ears who frequently have a hard time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For individuals who work in loud environments, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a smart investment.
3. Assess Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear
You should be commended if you manage to wear your hearing protection regularly. But that also means you need to monitor the wear and tear your ear protection is experiencing.
- When they lose their flexibility, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Earwax serves a practical function in your body but it can also accumulate on your hearing protection. Just make sure that you wash correctly; if you’re washing a set of earmuffs, take the earmuffs apart. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.
- Examine the band on earmuff protection. The band will need to be exchanged if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.
Making sure you do regular maintenance on your hearing protection is vital if you want to continue benefiting from that protection. It’s essential that you have a consultation with us if you have any questions on how to take care of your hearing protection or want to learn more about the things that can impede their performance.
Your hearing is important. It’s worth taking the time to protect it right.