Is your hearing protection failing to protect your hearing? Look out for these three things.
Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you encounter something that can interfere with the effectiveness of your ear protection. And that can be frustrating. You’re attempting to do the right thing after all. When you go to a concert, you use your earplugs; At work, you wear earmuffs every day; and you do your best to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is constantly shouting in your ear.
The point is, it can be rather frustrating when you’re doing everything right and still there are challenges. The good thing is that once you find out about a few of these simple challenges that can mess with your hearing protection, you can better prepare yourself. And that can ensure that your hearing protection functions at peak effectiveness even when you have some obstacles.
1. Wearing The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection
There are two convenient and standard categories of ear protection: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names might indicate, earplugs are small and can be pushed directly into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a pair of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they offer protection for your hearing by blocking outside sound.
- When you’re in a situation where noise is relatively constant, earplugs are encouraged.
- When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are suggested.
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 take a little more work to put in and are easy to lose track of so you may find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you need them most.
You will be okay if you wear the proper protection in the right scenario.
2. Your Ear Protection Can be Affected by Your Anatomy
Human anatomy is extremely diverse. That’s why your vocal cords are average 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 mess with your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is often a one size fits all mentality, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. And so if you have especially tiny ear canals, you might have a difficult time making earplugs fit, causing you to give up completely and throw the earplugs away in frustration.
This can leave you exposed to risk, undercutting the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself. Another instance of this is people with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it may be worth investing in custom hearing protection customized 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 an eye on the wear and tear your ear protection is experiencing.
- Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Earwax serves a practical function in your body but it can also build up on your hearing protection. Just make certain that you wash correctly; if you’re washing an earmuff set, take apart the earmuffs. Be mindful not to drop your earplugs into the drain.
- Replace cushions on earmuffs from time to time (typically, when those cushions are no longer pliable, they’re ready to be replaced).
- If you use earmuffs, check the band. When the elastic is worn out and the band is failing to hold the earmuffs snug, it’s time to replace the band.
If you want to get optimum benefit, you need to perform routine maintenance on your hearing 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.
Your hearing is important. It’s worth taking the time to protect it properly.