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

What prevents your hearing protection from working correctly? Watch for these three things.

Whether you’re at work or at home, sometimes you run into something that can interfere with the performance of your hearing protection. That’s difficult to deal with. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! You put on your earmuffs every day at work; you wear earplugs when you go to a concert; and you stay away from your loud Uncle Joe who is always shouting in your ears (although, maybe you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).

The point is, it can be kind of frustrating when you’re doing everything correctly and still there are issues. The nice thing is that once you understand a few of these simple challenges that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can better prepare yourself. And that can ensure that your hearing protection works at peak effectiveness even when you have some obstacles.

1. Wearing The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection

Hearing protection comes in two standard kinds: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names might suggest, earplugs are compact and can be pushed directly inside the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no music (instead, they, you know, safeguard your hearing).

  • Earplugs are recommended when you’re in a setting where the sound is comparatively continuous.
  • Earmuffs are advised in instances where loud sounds are more sporadic.

The reasons for that are relatively simple: you’ll want to remove your hearing protection when it’s quiet, and that’s less difficult to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs take a bit more work to put in and are easy to lose so you could find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you need them most.

You will be fine if you wear the correct protection in the appropriate scenario.

2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Ear Protection

There are many variables in human anatomy from one individual to another. That’s why your vocal cords are average sized compared to old Uncle Joe who has larger vocal cords. That’s also why you might have a smaller than normal ear canal.

And that can interfere with your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is frequently a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. So, perhaps you give up in frustration because you have small ear canals, and you stop using any ear protection.

If you find yourself in this scenario, you may forsake the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. The same thing can occur if, for instance, your ears are a bit larger, making earmuff style protectors uncomfortable. For individuals who work in loud environments, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a good investment.

3. Check Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear

You should be commended if you manage to wear your hearing protection every day. But day-to-day usage will result in wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to monitor.

  • When they lose their flexibility, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
  • Clean your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also accumulate on your hearing protection. Just make certain that you wash correctly; if you’re washing a set of earmuffs, take the earmuffs apart. If you’re washing earplugs, don’t drop them into the drain.
  • If you use earmuffs, examine the band. When the elastic is worn out and the band is failing to hold the earmuffs snug, it’s time to exchange the band.

Making sure you do routine 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 care for your hearing protection or want to know more about the things that can impede their performance.

You need your hearing. Taking the time to protect it right is essential.

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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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