What stops your hearing protection from working correctly? Watch for these three things.
In spite of your best attempts, you can sometimes encounter things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at the job. And that can be frustrating. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a concert, you wear your earplugs; At work, you use earmuffs every day; and you do your best to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ear.
The point is, it can be rather aggravating when you’re doing everything correctly and still there are obstacles. Luckily, you can take some steps to protect yourself once you know what kinds of things can interfere with the performance of your ear protection. And this will keep your ear protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re having a little difficulty.
1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection
Hearing protection is available in two basic forms: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names may imply, earplugs are small and can be pushed directly inside the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no tunes (instead, they, you know, protect your ears).
- Earplugs are recommended when you’re in an environment where the sound is comparatively constant.
- Earmuffs are advised in cases where loud sounds are more irregular.
The reasons for that are pretty simple: you’ll want to remove your hearing protection when it isn’t noisy, and that’s easier to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs take a bit 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 fine if you use the proper protection in the appropriate situation.
2. Your Ear Protection Can be Affected by Your Anatomy
There are many differences in human anatomy from person to person. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such large vocal cords and you have more normal-sized vocal cords. It’s also why your ear canal may be smaller than the average individual’s.
This can cause problems with your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. So, maybe you give up in frustration because you have tiny ear canals, and you stop using any hearing protection.
This can leave you open to risk, undercutting the hearing protection you were trying to provide for yourself. Another instance of this is individuals with large ears who often have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For people who work in noisy settings, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a smart investment.
3. Examine Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear
You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection every day. But day-to-day use will result in wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep an eye on.
- Examine the band on earmuff protection. The band will need to be changed if the elastic is worn out and no longer holds the earmuffs tight.
- When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Ears aren’t really the cleanest part of your body (ear wax serves a good purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… gross). Be sure you clean your hearing protection thoroughly by taking them apart before you cleanse them. Be mindful not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
If you want to get the greatest possible benefit, you need to perform regular maintenance on your hearing protection. If you have any questions or how to do that, or how to make sure you’re ready for things that can hinder your hearing protection, it’s a smart idea to have a frank conversation with a highly qualified hearing professional.
Your hearing is important. It’s worth taking the time to protect it right.