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

Is your hearing protection failing to protect your hearing? Here are 3 things to look out for.

In spite of your best efforts, you can sometimes run into things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at the job. That’s difficult to cope with. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a show, you use your earplugs; At work, you use earmuffs every day; and you try to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ear.

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 understand a few of these simple challenges that can mess with your hearing protection, you can prepare yourself better. And that can ensure that your ear protection functions at peak efficiency even when you have some obstacles.

1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is available in two basic forms: earplugs and earmuffs. As the names might imply, earplugs are compact and can be pushed directly inside the ear canal. Earmuffs are like large headphones with no music (instead, they, you know, safeguard your hearing).

  • When you’re in a situation where noise is relatively constant, earplugs are encouraged.
  • When loud sounds are more sporadic, earmuffs are recommended.

There’s a simple explanation 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 misplace (particularly if they’re cheap and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a situation where you take out an earplug, lose it, and then need it later.

You will be fine if you use the correct protection in the right situation.

2. Your Ear Protection Can be Affected by Your Anatomy

Human anatomy is extremely varied. That’s why your vocal cords are average sized compared to old Uncle Joe who has larger 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 mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. So, perhaps you give up in frustration because you have tiny ear canals, and you stop using any ear protection.

If you find yourself in this situation, you might forsake the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. 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 environments, a custom fit pair of hearing protection is a good investment.

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

If you’re wearing your hearing protection daily, you should give yourself a gold star. But day-to-day usage will lead to wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to monitor.

  • Clean your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also build up on your hearing protection. Make sure you wash your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you cleanse them. Be careful not to drop your earplugs into the drain.
  • When they’re no longer pliable, replace the cushions on your earmuffs.
  • Check the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is failing to hold the earmuffs snug, it’s time to exchange the band.

Ensuring you conduct routine maintenance on your hearing protection is essential if you want to continue benefiting from that 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 interfere with their performance.

Your hearing is vital. 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.