What prevents your hearing protection from working correctly? Watch for these three things.
Despite your best efforts, you can sometimes run into things that can hinder your hearing protection, both at home and at the job. And that can be aggravating. You’re attempting to do the right thing after all. You put on your earmuffs every day while working; you wear earplugs when you go to a show; and you stay away from 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 discouraging. The good thing is that once you know about some of these simple issues that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And this will keep your ear protection working effectively even when you’re experiencing a little trouble.
1. Using The Wrong Kind of Hearing Protection
Hearing protection comes in two standard kinds: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are little and, as the name indicates, can be inserted right into the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no sound (instead, they, you know, protect your ears).
- Earplugs are recommended when you’re in a place where the noise is fairly constant.
- Earmuffs are advised in instances where loud sounds are more sporadic.
The reasons for that are pretty simple: 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 extremely easy to lose (particularly if they’re inexpensive and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a scenario 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 Hearing Protection Can be Affected by Your Anatomy
There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. That’s why your vocal cords are average 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 mess 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 rather 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 open to risk, undermining the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself. Another instance of this is individuals with large ears who frequently have a hard time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For people who work in loud settings, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a good investment.
3. Examine Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear
You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection regularly. But day-to-day use will cause wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep close track of.
- When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- If you use earmuffs, check the band. The band will need to be exchanged if the elastic is worn out and no longer holds the earmuffs tight.
- Wash your hearing protection. Ears aren’t really the cleanest part of your body (ear wax serves a good purpose and all, but it’s still kind of… yucky). Just make sure that you wash properly; if you’re cleaning a set of earmuffs, take apart the earmuffs. Be cautious not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
If you want to get the greatest possible 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 care for 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 properly.