What hinders your hearing protection from working correctly? Watch for these three things.
Despite your best efforts, you can sometimes run into things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at the job. And that can be frustrating. After all, you’re trying to do what you’re supposed to do! You put on your earmuffs every day while working; you use earplugs when you attend a show; and you avoid your loud Uncle Joe who is always shouting in your ears (although, perhaps you just don’t really like Uncle Joe).
The point is, it can be a bit discouraging when you’re doing everything right and still there are challenges. Fortunately, you can take a few measures to protect yourself once you know what kinds of things can interfere with the performance of your ear protection. And that can ensure that your hearing protection works at peak efficiency even when you have some obstacles.
1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection
Ear protection is available in two standard types: earplugs and earmuffs. As the names may suggest, earplugs are compact and can be inserted directly inside the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no tunes (instead, they, you know, protect your ears).
- When you’re in a setting where noise is relatively constant, earplugs are recommended.
- When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are suggested.
There’s an obvious explanation 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 so you might find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you need them most.
You will be fine if you wear the correct protection in the appropriate scenario.
2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Hearing Protection
Human anatomy is extremely varied. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such a large set of vocal cords and your vocal cords are more normal sized. That’s also why you might have a smaller than average ear canal.
And that can interfere with your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is often a one size fits all mentality, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. So, perhaps you give up in frustration because you have small ear canals, and you quit using any ear protection.
This can leave you exposed to risk, undermining the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself. The same thing can happen if, for example, your ears are on the larger size, making earmuff style protectors awkward. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it may be worth investing in custom ear protection customized to your ears.
3. Assess Your Hearing Protection For Signs of Wear
You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection regularly. But day-to-day usage will result in wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to monitor.
- Your hearing protection needs to 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… gross). Make certain you clean your hearing protection thoroughly by taking them apart before you cleanse them. If you’re washing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.
- When they lose their pliability, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- If you use earmuffs, examine the band. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to exchange the band.
Making sure you carry out routine 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.
Your hearing is vital. Taking the time to protect it right is essential.