What stops your hearing protection from working properly? Look out for these three things.
Despite your best attempts, you can sometimes run into things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at work. And that can be frustrating. You’re attempting 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 always yelling in your ear.
Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having problems, it can be aggravating. The good thing is that once you find out about a few of these simple problems that can mess with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And this will keep your hearing protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re having a little difficulty.
1. Using The Wrong Type of Ear Protection
There are two useful and basic categories of hearing protection: earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs are little and, as the name indicates, can be put right into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they provide protection for your ears by blocking external sound.
- Earplugs are encouraged when you’re in a place where the noise is relatively constant.
- When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are recommended.
There’s a simple reason for that: when there’s no noise, 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 could find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you need them most.
Wear the correct form of hearing protection in the appropriate situation and you should be fine.
2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Hearing Protection
There are many variables in human anatomy from person to person. 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.
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 rather tiny ear canals, you might have a difficult time getting those earplugs to fit, causing you to give up completely and in frustration, throw them away..
If you find yourself in this scenario, you could forsake the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. The same thing can happen if, for instance, your ears are a bit larger, making earmuff style protectors uncomfortable. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it may be worth investing in custom ear 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 every day. But day-to-day use will lead to wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep close track of.
- Replace cushions on earmuffs every now and then (generally, when those cushions aren’t pliable, they’re ready to be replaced).
- Check the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to exchange the band.
- Clean your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also collect on your hearing protection. Be sure you wash your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you cleanse them. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.
Ensuring you carry out regular maintenance on your hearing protection is essential if you want to continue benefiting from that 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 impede their performance.
Your hearing is important. Taking the time to protect it right is essential.