What stops your hearing protection from working correctly? Look out for these three things.
Whether you’re at work or at home, sometimes you run into something that can impede the performance of your ear protection. That’s hard to deal with. You’re attempting to do the right thing after all. You wear your earmuffs every day while working; you wear earplugs when you attend a concert; and you stay away from your loud Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ears (although, maybe you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).
Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything correctly but you’re still having trouble, it can be aggravating. 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 that can ensure that your ear protection functions at peak effectiveness even when you have some obstacles.
1. Using The Wrong Kind of Hearing Protection
Hearing protection is available in two practical forms: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are little and, as the name indicates, 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 muting outside sound.
- When you’re in a situation where sound is fairly constant, earplugs are encouraged.
- When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are suggested.
The reasons for that are pretty simple: you’ll want to remove your ear protection when it’s quiet, and that’s easier to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs take a little more work to put in and are easy to lose track of 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 situation and you should be okay.
2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Ear 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. It’s also why your ear canal might be narrower than the average individual’s.
And that can mess with your hearing 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 hard time getting those earplugs to fit, causing you to give up entirely and in frustration, throw them away..
If you find yourself in this situation, you could turn away from the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. Another example of this is people with large ears who often have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For individuals who work in noisy settings, a custom fit pair of hearing protection is a smart investment.
3. Assess Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear
You should be commended if you manage to wear your hearing protection regularly. But that also means you need to monitor the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.
- Wash your hearing protection. 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 washing an earmuff set, take apart the earmuffs. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.
- When they lose their flexibility, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- If you use earmuffs, check 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.
Ensuring you perform regular maintenance on your hearing protection is imperative 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 take care of your hearing protection or want to learn more about the things that can impede their performance.
Your hearing is important. Taking the time to protect it properly is essential.