What prevents your hearing protection from working correctly? Watch for these three things.
Despite your best efforts, you can sometimes encounter things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at the job. That’s difficult to cope with. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. You wear your earmuffs every day while working; you use earplugs when you go to a show; and you avoid your loud Uncle Joe who is constantly yelling in your ears (although, perhaps you just don’t really like Uncle Joe).
The point is, it can be rather frustrating when you’re doing everything correctly and still there are obstacles. The good thing is that once you understand a few of these simple problems that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can better prepare yourself. And this will keep your ear protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re experiencing a little trouble.
1. Wearing The Wrong Type of Ear Protection
Hearing protection comes in two practical kinds: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are small and, as the name indicates, can be put straight into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they offer protection for your hearing by muting outside sound.
- Earplugs are encouraged when you’re in a place where the sound is relatively continuous.
- Earmuffs are recommended in circumstances where loud sounds are more intermittent.
The reasons for that are relatively obvious: you’ll want to remove your hearing protection when it’s quiet, and that’s less difficult to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs take a bit more work to put in and are easy to lose so you could find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you really need them.
Use the correct kind of hearing protection in the right situation and you should be fine.
2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Ear Protection
Human anatomy is extremely varied. That’s why your vocal cords are more normal sized compared to old Uncle Joe’s larger vocal cords. It’s also why your ear canal may be smaller than the average person’s.
This can cause complications with your hearing protection. Disposable earplugs, for instance, are made with a t-shirt mindset: small, medium, and large (even sometimes one-size-fits-all). So, maybe you give up in frustration because you have small ear canals, and you stop using any hearing protection.
This can leave you exposed to risk, undermining the hearing protection you were attempting to provide for yourself. Another example of this is individuals with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it might be worth investing in custom hearing protection tailored to your ears.
3. Check Your Hearing Protection For Signs of Wear
If you’re wearing your hearing protection daily, you should give yourself a pat on the back. But that also means you need to keep close track of the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.
- When they lose their pliability, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Check the band on earmuff protection. The band will need to be exchanged if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.
- Your hearing protection should 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 sure you wash your hearing protection thoroughly by taking them apart before you clean them. Be careful not to drop your earplugs into the drain.
If you want to get maximum benefit, you need to do routine maintenance on your hearing protection. It’s essential 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. Taking the time to protect it right is worthwhile.