What stops your hearing protection from working properly? Here are 3 things to look out for.
Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you run into something that can impede the effectiveness of your hearing protection. That’s difficult to deal with. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. You use your earmuffs every day while working; you use earplugs when you go to a concert; and you avoid your loud Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ears (although, maybe you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).
The point is, it can be a bit aggravating when you’re doing everything right and still there are difficulties. The nice thing is that once you find out about some of these simple problems that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And that can ensure that your hearing protection functions at peak efficiency even when you have some obstacles.
1. Using The Wrong Type of Ear Protection
Ear protection is available in two basic forms: 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 music (instead, they, you know, safeguard your ears).
- Earplugs are encouraged when you’re in a place where the sound is relatively constant.
- Earmuffs are advised in circumstances where loud sounds are more irregular.
There’s an obvious reason for that: when it’s quiet, you’ll want to remove you’re hearing protection which is harder to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs are extremely easy to lose (especially if they’re inexpensive and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a situation where you remove an earplug, misplace it, and then need it later.
You will be fine if you wear the proper protection in the right situation.
2. Your Hearing Protection Can be Impacted by Your Anatomy
Human anatomy is amazingly varied. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such large vocal cords and you have more normal-sized vocal cords. It’s also why your ear canal might be smaller than the average person’s.
And that can interfere with your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mentality, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. So, maybe you give up in frustration because you have tiny ear canals, and you quit using any hearing protection.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may forsake the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. Another instance of this is people with large ears who frequently have a tough time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For individuals who work in noisy environments, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a smart investment.
3. Check if There’s Any Wear And Tear on Your Hearing Protection
You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection regularly. But day-to-day use will result in wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep an eye on.
- When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
- Your hearing protection needs to be kept clean. Earwax serves a practical function in your body but it can also accumulate on your hearing protection. Be sure you clean your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you cleanse them. Be cautious not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
- If you use earmuffs, examine the band. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to switch out the band.
Ensuring you do regular maintenance on your hearing protection is vital 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 learn more about the things that can interfere with their performance.
Your hearing is vital. Taking the time to protect it properly is worthwhile.