3 Things You Should Know About Hearing Protection

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.

Despite 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. You’re trying to do the right thing after all. You use your earmuffs every day at work; you use earplugs when you go to a show; and you stay away from your loud Uncle Joe who is always shouting in your ears (although, perhaps you just don’t really like Uncle Joe).

Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything correctly but you’re still having problems, it can be frustrating. The good thing is that once you understand some of these simple problems that can mess with your hearing protection, you can better prepare yourself. And that can ensure that your hearing protection functions at peak effectiveness even when there’s a bump in the road.

1. Wearing The Wrong Type of Ear Protection

Ear protection is available in two practical types: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names might indicate, earplugs are compact and can be inserted directly inside the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a set of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they provide protection for your hearing by blocking external sound.

  • Earplugs are encouraged when you’re in a setting where the noise is relatively continuous.
  • When loud sounds are more sporadic, earmuffs are recommended.

There’s an obvious reason for that: when there’s no noise, you’ll want to remove you’re hearing protection which is more difficult to do with earplugs than earmuffs. Earplugs take a bit more work to put in and are easy to lose track of so you could find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you really need them.

Wear the proper kind of hearing protection in the appropriate situation and you should be fine.

2. Your Anatomy Can Impact Your Ear Protection

There are many variables in human anatomy from person to person. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such a large set of vocal cords and you have more normal-sized vocal cords. That’s also why you might have a smaller than normal ear canal.

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

This can leave you open to risk, undercutting the hearing protection you were trying to provide for yourself. Another example of this is individuals with large ears who frequently 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 customized 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 that also means you need to keep close track of the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.

  • 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 build up on your hearing protection. Just make certain that you wash properly; if you’re washing an earmuff set, take the earmuffs apart. If you’re washing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.
  • Examine the band on earmuff protection. The band will need to be changed if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.

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 learn more about the things that can interfere with their performance.

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

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.