What prevents your hearing protection from working properly? Watch for these three things.
Despite your best efforts, you can sometimes encounter things that can hinder your hearing protection, both at home and at work. That’s difficult to deal with. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. When you go to a concert, you wear your earplugs; At work, you use earmuffs every day; and you try to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is constantly shouting in your ear.
The point is, it can be a bit discouraging when you’re doing everything correctly, and still there are challenges. The good thing is that once you know about some of these simple problems that can mess with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And this will keep your ear protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re having a little trouble.
1. Wearing The Wrong Kind of Ear Protection
Hearing protection comes in two basic forms: earplugs and earmuffs. As the names might suggest, earplugs are small and can be inserted directly into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of music, they provide protection for your ears by muting outside sound.
- Earplugs are recommended when you’re in an environment where the noise is comparatively constant.
- Earmuffs are advised in instances where loud sounds are more sporadic.
There’s a simple explanation for that: when it’s quiet, you’ll want to remove you’re hearing protection which is harder to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs are very easy to lose (particularly if they’re inexpensive and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a scenario where you take out an earplug, misplace it, and then need it later.
Use the proper form of hearing protection in the right situation and you should be fine.
2. Your Ear Protection Can be Impacted by Your Anatomy
There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. That’s why your vocal cords are more normal sized compared to old Uncle Joe who has larger vocal cords. That’s also why you might have a smaller than average ear canal.
And that can hinder your ear protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mentality, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. And so if you have particularly tiny ear canals, you might have a hard time making earplugs fit, causing you to give up entirely and throw the earplugs away in frustration.
If you find yourself in this scenario, you might turn away from the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. Another example of this is individuals with large ears who often have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it might be worth investing in custom hearing protection customized to your ears.
3. Assess Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear
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 ear protection is experiencing.
- Your hearing protection needs to be kept clean. Ears aren’t really the cleanest part of your body (ear wax serves a good purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… gross). Just make certain that you wash properly; if you’re cleansing a set of earmuffs, take apart the earmuffs. Be careful not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
- If you use earmuffs, check the band. The band will need to be exchanged if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.
- When they lose their pliability, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
Making sure you perform regular maintenance on your hearing protection is imperative if you want to continue benefiting from that protection. It’s important that you have a consultation with us if you have any questions on how to take care of your hearing protection or want to know more about the things that can interfere with their performance.
You need your hearing. It’s worth taking the time to protect it right.