Is your hearing protection failing to safeguard your hearing? Look out for these three things.
In spite of your best attempts, you can sometimes run into things that can hinder your hearing protection, both at home and at work. That’s hard to deal 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 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 correctly but you’re still having problems, it can be aggravating. The good thing is that once you know about some of these simple problems that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And this will keep your ear protection working effectively even when you’re having a bit of trouble.
1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection
There are two useful and basic categories of ear protection: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names might indicate, 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 blocking outside sound.
- When you’re in a situation where sound is relatively constant, earplugs are suggested.
- Earmuffs are advised in cases where loud sounds are more intermittent.
The reasons for that are relatively simple: 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 extremely easy to lose (particularly if they’re inexpensive and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a position where you remove an earplug, lose it, and then need it later.
Use the right form of hearing protection in the appropriate scenario and you should be okay.
2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Ear Protection
There are many variables 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 may have a smaller than normal ear canal.
This can cause complications with your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is often a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. And so if you have especially tiny ear canals, you may have a difficult time making earplugs fit, causing you to give up entirely and in frustration, throw them away..
If you find yourself in this situation, you may turn away from the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. Another example of this is people with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. If you spend a lot of time in noisy environments, it might be worth investing in custom hearing protection personalized to your ears.
3. Assess 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 keep close track of the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.
- Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Ears aren’t exactly the cleanest part of your body (ear wax serves a good purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… yucky). Make certain you clean your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you clean them. If you’re washing earplugs, don’t drop them into 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’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
Making sure you carry out 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 care for your hearing protection or want to know more about the things that can impede their performance.
You need your hearing. Taking the time to protect it right is essential.