Is your hearing protection failing to protect your hearing? Look out for these three things.
In spite of your best efforts, you can sometimes encounter things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at work. That’s hard to cope with. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. When you go to a show, you use your earplugs; At work, you wear earmuffs every day; and you make your best effort to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is always shouting in your ear.
Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having trouble, it can be frustrating. Luckily, you can take a few measures to protect yourself once you know what types of things can impede the performance of your ear protection. And this will keep your hearing protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re having a little difficulty.
1. Using The Wrong Kind of Ear Protection
There are two convenient and standard categories of hearing protection: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are little and, as the name suggests, can be put right into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a pair of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they offer protection for your ears by blocking outside sound.
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in an environment where the noise is relatively continuous.
- Earmuffs are advised in cases 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 more difficult to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs take a little 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.
Wear the proper form of hearing protection in the right scenario and you should be okay.
2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Ear Protection
There are many differences in human anatomy from person to person. That’s why your vocal cords are more normal sized compared to old Uncle Joe’s larger vocal cords. That’s also why you might have a smaller than average ear canal.
And that can interfere with your ear protection. Disposable hearing protection is often a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. And so if you have rather tiny ear canals, you may have a tough time getting those earplugs to fit, causing you to give up completely and in frustration, throw them away..
If you find yourself in this scenario, you might turn away from the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. The same thing can happen if, for instance, your ears are a bit larger, making earmuff style protectors uncomfortable. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it might be worth investing in custom ear protection tailored to your ears.
3. Check if There’s Any Wear And Tear on Your Hearing Protection
If you’re using your hearing protection daily, you should give yourself a pat on the back. But day-to-day usage will lead to wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep close track of.
- If you use earmuffs, examine the band. When the elastic is worn out and the band is failing to hold the earmuffs snug, it’s time to switch out the band.
- When they lose their flexibility, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also build up on your hearing protection. Make certain you clean your hearing protection thoroughly by taking them apart before you clean them. Be mindful not to drop your earplugs into the drain.
If you want to get maximum benefit, you need to perform routine maintenance on your hearing protection. It’s essential that you have a consultation with us if you have any questions on how to care for your hearing protection or want to know more about the things that can interfere with their performance.
You need your hearing. It’s worth taking the time to protect it properly.