What stops your hearing protection from working properly? Here are 3 things to watch for.
Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you encounter something that can interfere with the performance of your ear protection. And that can be aggravating. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a show, you wear your earplugs; At work, you use 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 difficulty, it can be discouraging. The nice thing is that once you find out about a few of these simple challenges that can mess with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And that can ensure that your ear protection functions at peak effectiveness even when there’s a bump in the road.
1. Using The Wrong Kind of Ear Protection
There are two useful and standard categories of ear protection: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names may suggest, earplugs are compact and can be inserted directly inside the ear canal. Earmuffs are like large headphones with no sound (instead, they, you know, safeguard your hearing).
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in a place where the noise is comparatively continuous.
- Earmuffs are advised in circumstances where loud sounds are more intermittent.
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 bit more work to put in and are easy to lose 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 scenario.
2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Hearing Protection
There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. 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 narrower than the average individual’s.
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. So, perhaps you give up in frustration because you have tiny ear canals, and you stop using any ear protection.
If you find yourself in this scenario, you could turn away from the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. The same thing can happen if, for instance, your ears are on the larger size, making earmuff style protectors uncomfortable. If you spend a lot of time in noisy environments, it may be worth investing in custom ear protection personalized to your ears.
3. Check 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 day-to-day usage 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 exchanged if the elastic is worn out and no longer holds the earmuffs tight.
- Clean your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also collect on your hearing protection. Just make sure that you wash properly; if you’re cleansing an earmuff set, take the earmuffs apart. Be careful not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
- When they lose their flexibility, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
If you want to get maximum benefit, you need to perform regular maintenance on your hearing protection. It’s important 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.
You need your hearing. Taking the time to protect it properly is worthwhile.