In an increasingly connected society, our ears exposure to ever more noise, including work-related noise and the overall state of noise pollution in certain areas, means that you may want to consider a trip to your audiologist to get a good gauge on your current hearing levels.

Now, suppose you are using one of the many variants of hearing protection devices on the market. There are correct and incorrect ways of using hearing protection, and you should always follow the manufacturers’ guidelines. Still, some standard awareness points drive home the importance of proper usage.

Let’s Start with The Best Practice Dos of Hearing Protection Devices


Understanding what level of protection you need relative to the reason for wearing that device is an excellent place to start. So, if you’re working on a construction site, you’ll probably be needing protection earmuffs.

A visit to your audiologist will guide your decision-making in deciding between earmuffs or earplugs and molds of your inner ears can be made that will deliver earplugs that are a perfect fit for you. These will work wonders for sleep quality if you live in a high-noise area or environment but may not be ideal for a work situation.

In any case, find the device that works for you that won’t impede your personal safety or situational awareness.

Know the noise reduction levels of your chosen device

Most devices come with varying levels of sound reduction, so you should match your device’s rating with your specific needs. For example, a light sleeper that needs relief from ambient noise would need earplugs that block out up to 20 decibels of noise. However, if you’re a frequent traveler and can’t sleep on aircraft or trains, you’ll need earplugs that block out eat least 30 decibels for complete silence.

Pay due attention to hygiene

Wearing headphones, earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones and especially earbuds can increase the levels of bacteria in your ear dramatically, so if you mean to reuse earplugs or earbuds or pods, then you need to take good care of them and your ears.

Now, We’ll Examine A Few Of the Don’ts of Wearing Hearing Protection Devices.

Select devices that block out 100% of the noise at work

If you work in a loud printing press, construction site, in the military or as a professional hunter, you might be tempted to select products that give 100% noise blockage. Think carefully before doing this, as you also won’t hear alarms or safety announcements and total noise blockage could severely impede your situational awareness.

Neglect cleaning your ears

As mentioned earlier, the amount of bacteria in your ear increases exponentially with every passing hour that you’re wearing a protection device, so if you wear these devices regularly, maintain a solid cleaning regimen and your audiologist can give you excellent advice for that.

Insert earplugs without prior thought

Many accidents occur because of overconfident insertion of earplugs. Before you stick anything into your ears, take a second to be aware of any discomfort and take special note of the depth you’re inserting.

As always, consult with an audiologist before making any decisions for expert guidance on which device is the best for your needs and advice on maintenance and hygiene.