3 Things You Should Understand About Hearing Protection


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

What prevents your hearing protection from working correctly? 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 hard to cope with. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! You use your earmuffs every day at work; you use earplugs when you attend a concert; and you avoid your raucous 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 rather frustrating when you’re doing everything correctly and still there are obstacles. The nice thing is that once you find out about some of these simple challenges that can interfere with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And this will keep your hearing protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re having a bit of trouble.

1. Wearing The Wrong Kind of Hearing Protection

There are two convenient and basic categories of ear protection: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are little and, as the name suggests, 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 suggested when you’re in an environment where the noise is fairly continuous.
  • Earmuffs are recommended in cases where loud sounds are more irregular.

There’s an obvious explanation for that: when there’s no noise, you’ll want to remove you’re hearing protection which is harder to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs take a bit 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 kind of hearing protection in the right scenario and you should be okay.

2. Your Hearing Protection Can be Affected by Your Anatomy

Human anatomy is incredibly diverse. 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 might be smaller than the average individual’s.

And that can hinder your hearing protection. Disposable earplugs, for instance, are made with a clothing mindset: small, medium, and large (even sometimes one-size-fits-all). So, perhaps you give up in frustration because you have small ear canals, and you stop using any hearing protection.

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. For individuals who work in noisy settings, a custom fit pair of ear protection is a smart investment.

3. Check Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear

If you’re wearing your hearing protection daily, you should give yourself a gold star. But that also means you need to monitor the wear and tear your ear protection is experiencing.

  • Examine the band on earmuff protection. The band will need to be exchanged if the elastic is worn out and no longer holds the earmuffs tight.
  • When they lose their pliability, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
  • Clean your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical function in your body but it can also build up on your hearing protection. Just make sure that you wash properly; if you’re cleansing a set of earmuffs, take apart the earmuffs. Be cautious not to drop your earplugs down the drain.

Making sure you perform 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 learn more about the things that can interfere with their performance.

Your hearing is important. Taking the time to protect it properly is worthwhile.

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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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