Man wearing hearing protection in his workshop to protect his hearing.

What hinders your hearing protection from working properly? Here are 3 things to look out for.

Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you come across something that can impede the effectiveness of your hearing protection. That’s hard to deal with. After all, you’re trying to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a concert, 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 constantly yelling in your ear.

Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having trouble, it can be discouraging. The nice thing is that once you know about a few of these simple problems that can mess with your hearing protection, you can better prepare yourself. 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 Ear Protection

There are two handy and basic categories of hearing protection: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are little and, as the name indicates, can be put straight into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a pair of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they provide protection for your hearing by muting external sound.

  • Earplugs are recommended when you’re in a place where the sound is fairly continuous.
  • Earmuffs are recommended in circumstances where loud sounds are more intermittent.

The reasons for that are relatively obvious: 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 incredibly easy to misplace (especially if they’re cheap and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a situation where you take out an earplug, misplace it, and then need it later.

You will be fine if you use the proper protection in the appropriate situation.

2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Hearing Protection

Human anatomy is amazingly varied. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such a large set of 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.

This can cause issues 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 particularly tiny ear canals, you might have a hard time getting those earplugs to fit, causing you to give up entirely and throw the earplugs away in frustration.

This can leave you exposed to risk, undermining the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself. The same thing can occur if, for instance, your ears are on the larger size, making earmuff style protectors awkward. If you’re in a noisy setting regularly, it might be worth investing in custom hearing protection personalized to your ears.

3. Assess if There’s Any Wear And Tear on Your Hearing Protection

You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection every day. But day-to-day use will lead to 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.
  • Wash your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical function in your body but it can also accumulate on your hearing protection. Make certain you clean your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you cleanse them. Be cautious not to drop your earplugs down the drain.
  • Check the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to replace the band.

If you want to get optimum benefit, you need to do regular maintenance on your hearing protection. It’s important that you have a consultation with us if you have any questions on how to take care of your hearing protection or want to know more about the things that can impede their performance.

You need your hearing. It’s worth taking the time to protect it right.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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