3 Things You Should Know About Hearing Protection

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

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

Whether you’re at work or at home, sometimes you come across something that can impede the performance of your hearing protection. And that can be aggravating. After all, you’re striving to do what you’re supposed to do! You put on your earmuffs every day while working; you wear earplugs when you go to a concert; and you stay away from your raucous Uncle Joe who is constantly yelling in your ears (although, maybe you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).

Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having trouble, it can be frustrating. The good thing is that once you know about some of these simple problems that can mess 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 little difficulty.

1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection

There are two convenient and standard categories of hearing protection: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are small and, as the name suggests, can be inserted straight into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of music, they provide protection for your hearing by muting external sound.

  • Earplugs are recommended when you’re in a setting where the noise is relatively constant.
  • When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are suggested.

There’s an obvious 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 take a bit more work to put in and are easy to lose track of so you might find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you really need them.

Use the correct kind of hearing protection in the right scenario and you should be fine.

2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Hearing Protection

Human anatomy is extremely varied. That’s why your vocal cords are average sized compared to old Uncle Joe’s larger vocal cords. That’s also why you may have a smaller than normal ear canal.

And that can hinder your ear protection. Disposable hearing protection is often a one size fits all mentality, or at best, a small, medium, large situation. And so if you have particularly tiny ear canals, you might have a tough time making earplugs 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 attempting to give yourself. Another example of this is people with large ears who often have a tough time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. If you spend a lot of time in noisy environments, it might be worth investing in custom ear protection personalized to your ears.

3. Examine Your Hearing Protection For Signs of Wear

You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection every day. But day-to-day use will result in wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to keep an eye on.

  • If you use earmuffs, examine the band. The band will need to be changed if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.
  • Replace cushions on earmuffs every once in a while (typically, when those cushions aren’t pliable, they’re ready to be replaced).
  • Your hearing protection needs to be kept clean. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also accumulate on your hearing protection. Make certain you clean your hearing protection thoroughly by taking them apart before you cleanse them. Be mindful not to drop your earplugs down the drain.

If you want to get maximum benefit, you need to perform regular maintenance on your hearing protection. It’s important 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 impede their performance.

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

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.