What prevents your hearing protection from working properly? Watch for these three things.
Whether you’re at work or at home, sometimes you come across something that can interfere with the performance of your ear protection. And that can be discouraging. After all, you’re trying to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a concert, you wear your earplugs; At work, you wear earmuffs every day; and you make your best effort to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ear.
The point is, it can be kind of aggravating when you’re doing everything right and still there are difficulties. 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 better prepare yourself. And that can ensure that your hearing protection functions at peak effectiveness even when you have some obstacles.
1. Using The Wrong Kind of Hearing Protection
There are two handy and standard categories of ear protection: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names may imply, earplugs are small and can be inserted directly into the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no tunes (instead, they, you know, safeguard your hearing).
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in a setting where the sound is comparatively constant.
- When loud sounds are more sporadic, earmuffs are suggested.
The reasons for that are fairly obvious: you’ll want to remove your ear protection when it’s quiet, and that’s less difficult to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs are very easy to lose (particularly if they’re cheap and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a scenario where you take out an earplug, misplace it, and then need it later.
Wear the correct kind of hearing protection in the appropriate situation and you should be fine.
2. Your Ear Protection Can be Impacted by Your Anatomy
There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. 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 might be smaller than the average individual’s.
And that can mess with your ear protection. Disposable earplugs, for instance, are made with a clothing mindset: small, medium, and large (if not one-size-fits-all). And so if you have especially tiny ear canals, you might have a hard time making earplugs fit, causing you to give up entirely and throw the earplugs away in frustration.
This can leave you exposed to risk, undercutting the hearing protection you were attempting to provide for yourself. The same thing can occur if, for instance, your ears are a bit larger, making earmuff style protectors awkward. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it may be worth investing in custom ear protection personalized to your ears.
3. Assess if There’s Any Wear And Tear on Your Hearing Protection
You should be commended if you manage to wear your hearing protection regularly. But day-to-day usage will cause wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep close track of.
- Examine the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to replace the band.
- 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 practical purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… yucky). Just make certain that you wash properly; if you’re cleansing a set of earmuffs, take apart the earmuffs. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them into the drain.
If you want to get maximum benefit, you need to perform regular 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 learn more about the things that can impede their performance.
You need your hearing. It’s worth taking the time to protect it right.