One of the most important things you can do when you work at a job in which loud noises are typical is to protect your hearing. Your hearing can be damaged without you even perceiving that the damage is occurring. This is why it is recommended that you play your music at more tolerable levels by many earphone manufacturers.
While many workers shun ear protection as being cowardly or ruining their perception, it is a far better alternative to going deaf later on in life. Ear protection is a crucial way to ensure that your ears will remain undamaged for as long as possible, but what’s the best way to protect your ears from loud noises?
Today, we will be looking at the two most common methods of ear protection, and we will also be comparing and contrasting their pros and cons. These two forms of ear protection are the ear plug and noise dampening earmuffs. Without further delay, let's get right into it.
Ear plugs are a form of ear protection which consists of small plugs that are meant to be inserted into your ear canal to ensure that noise does not make it to your ear at maximum volume. Ear plugs tend to dampen the sounds to manageable levels, but they have a few disadvantages that we will address later on.
Ear plugs work because they are made out of sound dampening materials. These are materials which contain a property which reduces sound when it is transmitted through them. By creating a barrier in between your eardrum and the noises coming from outside, it prevents ear damage from occurring.
Earmuffs are a form of ear protection that fits over both of your ears. While this design may seem a little dated since ear plugs accomplish the same task in a smaller package, you will find that there are quite a few advantages to earmuffs. We will address their pros and cons in the comparison section.
When it comes to the comparison between earmuffs and ear plugs, there are a few aspects to take into consideration, so we will break this comparison down into sections.
Regarding portability, one would assume that ear plugs would be the clear winner, but there are some earmuffs which are designed to rival this aspect of portability. Modern earmuffs which are designed for noise protection will typically feature a collapsible design so they can be more easily transported.
The difference concerning portability is not as significant as it is made to be, as well, since you can easily just wear your earmuffs around your neck. We find that the advantages of earmuffs in other areas outweigh the slight edge that ear plugs have regarding portability.
This is the main reason why we prefer earmuffs over ear plugs. Most ear plugs must be fitted to the wearer’s ear canal, and they can cause discomfort or even be completely ineffective if they are not properly fitted. Unless ear plugs are purpose made for you, you may risk damaging your hearing.
Earmuffs, on the other hand, feature oversized cups made of noise isolating material which fit over your ears. Even those with the largest of ears will be able to protect themselves from loud noises while wearing earmuffs.
Another reason that ear plugs are less effective than earmuffs is that ear plugs can cause issues regarding hygiene and health. Ear plugs cannot be shared between two people due to differently sized ear canals as well as possible infection. Speaking of infection, if your ears are swollen, it becomes impossible to wear ear plugs.
Earmuffs, on the other hand, can be shared between individuals, provided that they are given a cursory cleaning. They can also be worn by those with ear infections, as an inflamed ear canal will not render them ineffective. Earmuffs are simply more versatile than ear plugs, and they both offer comparable noise isolation.
We have decided that the better choice for protecting your hearing is to make use of earmuffs since they are better in almost every regard save for portability. When it comes to ear protection, you want reliability and consistency, and this is offered by earmuffs more so than ear plugs. If there are any questions, ask away down in the comments.