Is your hearing protection failing to protect your hearing? Here are 3 things to look out for.
Despite 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 attempting to do the right thing after all. You use your earmuffs every day at work; you wear earplugs when you attend a show; and you avoid your raucous Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ears (although, perhaps you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).
The point is, it can be kind of aggravating when you’re doing everything correctly and still there are difficulties. The nice thing is that once you understand a few of these simple issues that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And that can ensure that your ear protection functions at peak efficiency even when there’s a bump in the road.
1. Wearing The Wrong Kind of Hearing Protection
Ear protection is available in two standard types: earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs are little and, as the name indicates, can be inserted right into the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no tunes (instead, they, you know, protect your ears).
- Earplugs are suggested when you’re in a setting where the sound is relatively continuous.
- Earmuffs are recommended in instances where loud sounds are more sporadic.
The reasons for that are fairly obvious: you’ll want to remove your hearing protection when it’s quiet, and that’s easier to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs take a bit more work to put in and are easy to lose track of so you could find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you really need them.
You will be okay if you wear the proper protection in the appropriate situation.
2. Your Hearing Protection Can be Impacted by Your Anatomy
There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such large vocal cords and your vocal cords are more normal sized. It’s also why your ear canal may be smaller than the average individual’s.
And that can interfere with your ear protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mentality, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. And so if you have particularly tiny ear canals, you might have a hard time getting those earplugs to fit, causing you to give up completely and throw the earplugs away in frustration.
This can leave you open to risk, undercutting the hearing protection you were trying to provide for yourself. Another instance of this is people with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For people who work in loud environments, a custom fit pair of hearing protection is a good investment.
3. Examine Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear
You should be commended if you manage to wear your hearing protection every day. But that also means you need to monitor the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.
- Wash your hearing protection. 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 certain you clean your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you clean them. If you’re washing earplugs, don’t drop them into the drain.
- Examine the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is failing to hold the earmuffs snug, it’s time to replace the band.
- Replace cushions on earmuffs every now and then (generally, when those cushions are no longer pliable, they’re ready for the heave-ho).
Ensuring you carry out routine maintenance on your hearing protection is essential if you want to continue benefiting from that 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.
Your hearing is vital. It’s worth taking the time to protect it properly.