Is your hearing protection failing to safeguard your hearing? Watch for these three things.
Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you come across something that can interfere with the effectiveness of your ear protection. That’s difficult to deal with. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. When you go to a show, you use your earplugs; At work, you wear earmuffs every day; and you make your best effort to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is constantly yelling in your ear.
Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having problems, it can be discouraging. Luckily, you can take some steps to protect yourself once you understand what types of things can interfere with the performance of your ear protection. And that can ensure that your ear protection functions at peak effectiveness even when there’s a bump in the road.
1. Wearing The Wrong Kind of Ear Protection
There are two useful and basic categories of ear protection: earplugs and earmuffs. As the names may indicate, earplugs are compact and can be pushed directly into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they offer protection for your hearing by blocking outside sound.
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in an environment where the noise is fairly constant.
- Earmuffs are recommended in instances where loud sounds are more sporadic.
The reasons for that are fairly 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 take a little more work to put in and are easy to lose track of so you might find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you need them most.
You will be fine if you wear the proper protection in the right scenario.
2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Hearing Protection
Human anatomy is extremely diverse. That’s why your vocal cords are average sized compared to old Uncle Joe who has larger vocal cords. It’s also why your ear canal may be smaller than the average person’s.
This can cause issues with your hearing protection. Disposable earplugs, for instance, are made with a t-shirt mentality: small, medium, and large (if not one-size-fits-all). And so if you have particularly tiny ear canals, you might have a difficult time making earplugs fit, causing you to give up completely and in frustration, throw them away..
If you find yourself in this situation, you may forsake the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. Another example of this is individuals with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For people who work in loud environments, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a good investment.
3. Check if There’s Any Wear And Tear on Your Hearing Protection
You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection regularly. But that also means you need to monitor the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.
- When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Examine the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is failing to hold the earmuffs snug, it’s time to switch out the band.
- Your hearing protection needs to be kept clean. Ears aren’t really the cleanest part of your body (ear wax serves a practical purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… yucky). Be sure you wash your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you cleanse them. Be mindful not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
If you want to get maximum benefit, you need to do regular maintenance on your hearing 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 interfere with their performance.
Your hearing is vital. Taking the time to protect it properly is worthwhile.