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Which Provides Better Hearing Protection, Plugs or Muffs?

 

an older man cupping a hand to his ear

When you’re going to be in a situation where your ears might be exposed to loud noises, it’s vital to take precautions. Protecting your hearing is so important because long-term and permanent damage can be done to your ears if you’re not careful.

The two most common types of hearing protection available are earmuffs and plugs. If you’re not sure which to choose or which benefits you can receive from each of these options, we’re going to provide you with all of that information right now, so keep reading.

Advantages of using earmuffs

One of the things people like most about earmuffs is the way in which they’re very adaptable and versatile. You don’t need to have them custom fitted for them to work well. Instead, you just out them on, they fit over your ears and offer the protection you need. They’re also pretty comfortable compared to other types of hearing protection.

The fact that they just sit over the ears also makes them easy to take off and put back on again. There’s nothing particularly intricate about them, and that’s something that’s seen as a major advantage for people working on construction sites and similar situations where hearing protection is required. They’re ideal for that kind of intermittent use.

Disadvantages of using earmuffs

Because of the way in which earmuffs are versatile and easy to use, they don’t offer a tailored level of protection. And that means they can’t offer the same high level of hearing protection that options such as earplugs can. This is because the protection comes from them sitting over the ear and not in the ear canal.

The way in which they’re worn can also impact what level of protection they’re able to offer as well. If they’re worn alongside other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE), they might not fit as tight over the ear, resulting in a lower level of protection. This is particularly problematic when eye protection is worn, so it’s important that care is taken in those situations.

Advantages of using plugs

The highest level of protection on offer comes from earplugs, and that’s the major selling point. Because they sit in the ear canal, they can offer more protection and ensure other types of PPE don’t interfere with that as we discussed above in the case of earmuffs. They can sit comfortably in the ear canal, limiting the level of noise the ear is exposed to.

Their size is another major advantage that shouldn’t be ignored. Because they’re so small, that makes them more convenient. They can be carried in a small case when they’re not being worn and then put into the ear when necessary. And they don’t cause any problems for people using eye protection or helmets when working.

Disadvantages of using plugs

There are sometimes problems with people not wearing earplugs properly, and the fit can be an issue for some people too. In a work context, it’s important that employees are provided with earplugs that are right for them and that they’re instructed on how to wear them properly to maximize the level of protection they provide.

There are also some limitations on who can use earplugs. For example, people who have ear infections or are prone to developing ear infections are less likely to be able to wear them. This is not something that’ll apply to everyone but it’s still important for employers to take into account when making hearing protection decisions and provisions.

Conclusions

There’s clearly a place for both earplugs and earmuffs when it comes to protecting your ears. It all depends on the demands of the situation, the level of noise people are being exposed to and what other factors are at play such as other kinds of PPE. Nevertheless, hearing protection is important and it shouldn’t ever be overlooked whether in the workplace or anywhere else.

Get in touch to learn more about Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids

If you want to learn more about protecting your ears and ensuring they remain in good health for a long time to come, you can get in touch with Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids. We’ll offer you a range of services and ensure you can find the hearing aids that work for you and change your day-to-day life for the better. If you do want to contact our team, the phone number to use is 605-306-5756.


 


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