Is your hearing protection failing to protect your hearing? Here are 3 things to look out for.
Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you run into something that can interfere with the performance of your hearing protection. And that can be aggravating. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! You put on your earmuffs every day while working; you wear earplugs when you go to a show; and you avoid your raucous Uncle Joe who is constantly shouting in your ears (although, perhaps you just don’t really like Uncle Joe).
Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having problems, it can be aggravating. The nice thing is that once you find out about a few of these simple challenges that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And this will keep your hearing protection working effectively even when you’re experiencing a little trouble.
1. Wearing The Wrong Kind of Ear Protection
Ear protection comes in two standard forms: earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs are little and, as the name suggests, can be inserted straight into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of music, they provide protection for your ears by muting outside sound.
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in a setting where the noise is relatively continuous.
- Earmuffs are advised in instances where loud sounds are more sporadic.
There’s an obvious reason for that: when there’s no noise, you’ll want to remove you’re hearing protection which is more difficult to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs are extremely easy to misplace (particularly if they’re inexpensive and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a position where you remove an earplug, lose it, and then need it later.
Wear the proper form of hearing protection in the right scenario and you should be okay.
2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Hearing Protection
Human anatomy is amazingly diverse. That’s why your vocal cords are more normal sized compared to old Uncle Joe’s larger vocal cords. That’s also why you may have a smaller than average ear canal.
This can cause problems with your ear protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. And so if you have particularly tiny ear canals, you might have a tough time making earplugs fit, causing you to give up completely and throw the earplugs away in frustration.
This can leave you exposed to risk, undermining the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself. Another example of this is people with large ears who frequently have a hard time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For individuals who work in noisy environments, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a good investment.
3. Check if There’s Any Wear And Tear on Your Hearing Protection
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 ear protection is experiencing.
- When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Ears aren’t exactly the cleanest part of your body (ear wax serves a practical purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… gross). Just make certain that you wash properly; if you’re washing a set of earmuffs, take apart the earmuffs. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them into the drain.
- If you use earmuffs, examine the band. The band will need to be exchanged if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.
Making sure you carry out regular maintenance on your hearing protection is essential 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.