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

Is your hearing protection failing to protect your hearing? Look out for these three things.

Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you run into something that can impede 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! When you go to a show, you wear your earplugs; At work, you wear earmuffs every day; and you try to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ear.

Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having difficulty, it can be discouraging. Fortunately, you can take some steps to protect yourself once you learn what kinds of things can impede the performance of your hearing protection. And this will keep your hearing protection in a state of efficiency even when you’re experiencing a bit of difficulty.

1. Using The Wrong Type of Hearing Protection

There are two handy and basic categories of hearing protection: earmuffs and earplugs. Earplugs are small and, as the name suggests, can be put right into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a pair of 70’s headphones, but instead of music, they offer protection for your ears by blocking outside sound.

  • When you’re in a setting where noise is relatively constant, earplugs are suggested.
  • Earmuffs are recommended in cases where loud sounds are more sporadic.

The reasons for that are relatively simple: you’ll want to remove your ear protection when it isn’t noisy, 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 track of 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 situation.

2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Ear Protection

Human anatomy is amazingly varied. That’s why your Uncle Joe has such large 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 hearing 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 getting those earplugs to fit, causing you to give up entirely and in frustration, throw them away..

If you find yourself in this situation, you could turn away from the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you at risk of hearing damage. Another instance of this is individuals with large ears who frequently have a difficult time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For people who work in noisy settings, a custom fit pair of hearing 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 regularly. But day-to-day use will lead to 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 replaced if the elastic is worn out and doesn’t hold the earmuffs tight.
  • Replace cushions on earmuffs every once in a while (generally, when those cushions aren’t pliable, they’re ready to be replaced).
  • 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 cleansing an earmuff set, take apart the earmuffs. If you’re washing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.

Making sure you perform regular 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 take care of 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.

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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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