What prevents your hearing protection from working correctly? Watch for these three things.
In spite of your best attempts, you can sometimes encounter things that can hinder your hearing protection, both at home and at work. That’s difficult to cope with. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. You put on your earmuffs every day at work; you wear earplugs when you attend a show; and you stay away from your raucous Uncle Joe who is constantly yelling in your ears (although, maybe you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).
The point is, it can be rather aggravating when you’re doing everything right and still there are obstacles. Luckily, you can take a few measures to protect yourself once you understand what types of things can interfere with the performance of your ear protection. And this will keep your hearing protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re having a little trouble.
1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection
Ear protection is available in two basic types: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are little and, as the name indicates, can be inserted right into the ear canal. Earmuffs are like large headphones with no tunes (instead, they, you know, safeguard your ears).
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in a place where the sound is comparatively continuous.
- When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are recommended.
There’s an obvious explanation for that: when it’s quiet, you’ll want to remove you’re hearing protection which is more difficult to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs are very easy to misplace (especially if they’re cheap 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.
You will be fine if you wear the correct protection in the right situation.
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’s larger vocal cords. That’s also why you may have a smaller than normal ear canal.
This can cause complications with your ear protection. Disposable earplugs, for example, are made with a t-shirt mentality: small, medium, and large (even sometimes 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 entirely and in frustration, throw them away..
This can leave you open to risk, undermining the hearing protection you were trying to provide for yourself. Another instance of this is people with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For individuals who work in loud settings, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a good investment.
3. Examine Your Hearing Protection For Signs of Wear
If you’re wearing your hearing protection every day, you should give yourself a gold star. But day-to-day usage will cause wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to monitor.
- 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.
- Wash your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also build up on your hearing protection. Just make sure that you wash correctly; if you’re cleaning an earmuff set, take the earmuffs apart. Be mindful not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
- When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
If you want to get the greatest possible benefit, you need to perform regular maintenance on your hearing protection. It’s essential that you have a consultation with us if you have any questions on how to care for your hearing protection or want to learn more about the things that can interfere with their performance.
Your hearing is important. It’s worth taking the time to protect it right.