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

What hinders your hearing protection from working properly? Here are 3 things to look out for.

Despite your best attempts, you can sometimes encounter things that can mess with your hearing protection, both at home and at the job. And that can be discouraging. After all, you’re trying to do what you’re supposed to do! You wear your earmuffs every day while working; you use earplugs when you attend a show; and you stay away from your raucous Uncle Joe who is always yelling in your ears (although, perhaps you just don’t really enjoy Uncle Joe).

Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having difficulty, it can be aggravating. The nice thing is that once you understand some of these simple issues that can interfere 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 Kind of Ear Protection

There are two useful and basic categories of ear protection: earplugs and earmuffs. As the names may indicate, earplugs are compact and can be pushed directly into the ear canal. Earmuffs are like big headphones with no music (instead, they, you know, protect your ears).

  • Earplugs are encouraged when you’re in a place where the noise is comparatively continuous.
  • When loud sounds are more intermittent, earmuffs are recommended.

The reasons for that are relatively simple: you’ll want to remove your hearing protection when it’s quiet, and that’s easier to do with earmuffs than earplugs. Earplugs are very easy to misplace (particularly if they’re cheap and disposable anyway), so you don’t want to be in a position where you remove an earplug, misplace it, and then need it later.

Wear the proper form of hearing protection in the right scenario and you should be okay.

2. Your Anatomy Can Affect Your Hearing Protection

Human anatomy is incredibly 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 frequently a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. So, perhaps you give up in frustration because you have small ear canals, and you quit using any ear protection.

If you find yourself in this scenario, you might forsake the hearing protection you were attempting to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. Another instance of this is individuals with large ears who often have a hard time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. If you spend a lot of time in noisy environments, it might be worth investing in custom hearing 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 regularly. But that also means you need to keep an eye on the wear and tear your hearing protection is experiencing.

  • Examine the band on earmuff protection. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to replace the band.
  • Clean your hearing protection. Earwax serves a practical function in your body but it can also collect on your hearing protection. Be sure you clean your hearing protection completely by taking them apart before you cleanse them. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them down the drain.
  • Replace cushions on earmuffs every now and then (generally, when those cushions aren’t pliable, they’re ready to be replaced).

If you want to get optimum benefit, you need to do routine 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.

Your hearing is vital. 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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