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Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA

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What stops your hearing protection from working properly? Here are 3 things to watch for.

Whether you’re at home or at work, sometimes you encounter something that can impede the effectiveness of your ear protection. That’s hard to deal with. After all, you’re trying to do what you’re supposed to do! When you go to a show, you wear your earplugs; At work, you use earmuffs every day; and you try to steer clear of Uncle Joe who is constantly shouting in your ear.

Here’s the point, when you’re doing everything right but you’re still having difficulty, it can be discouraging. Luckily, you can take some measures to protect yourself once you learn what types of things can impede the performance of your hearing protection. 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 Kind of Hearing Protection

There are two useful and basic categories of ear protection: earmuffs and earplugs. As the names may suggest, earplugs are small and can be pushed directly into the ear canal. Earmuffs look like a pair of 70’s headphones, but instead of tunes, they offer protection for your hearing by muting outside sound.

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

There’s a simple reason 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 could find yourself needing to replace lost plugs when you really need them.

Use the correct kind of hearing protection in the appropriate situation and you should be fine.

2. Your Hearing Protection Can be Impacted by Your Anatomy

There are many differences in human anatomy from one individual to another. That’s why your vocal cords are more normal sized compared to old Uncle Joe who has larger vocal cords. It’s also why your ear canal may be smaller than the average individual’s.

And that can hinder your hearing protection. Disposable hearing protection is often a one size fits all mindset, or at best, a small, medium, large scenario. So, maybe you give up in frustration because you have tiny ear canals, and you quit using any ear protection.

If you find yourself in this scenario, you could forsake the hearing protection you were trying to give yourself, leaving you in danger of hearing damage. Another instance of this is people with large ears who often have a tough time getting earmuffs to fit comfortably. For individuals who work in loud settings, a custom fit pair of hearing protection is a smart investment.

3. Examine Your Hearing Protection For Wear And Tear

You should be commended if you manage to use your hearing protection regularly. But day-to-day use will lead to wear and tear to your hearing protection which you need to monitor.

  • Your hearing protection should be kept clean. Earwax serves a practical purpose in your body but it can also build up on your hearing protection. Just make sure that you wash correctly; if you’re cleansing a set of earmuffs, take apart the earmuffs. If you’re rinsing earplugs, don’t drop them into the drain.
  • Replace cushions on earmuffs every now and then (generally, when those cushions are no longer pliable, they’re ready for the heave-ho).
  • If you use earmuffs, check the band. When the elastic is worn out and the band is no longer holding the earmuffs snug, it’s time to replace 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.

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

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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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