Hearing Protection Ear Muffs - my preference
For a person working in a shop, hearing protection ear muffs are a good option for protection of your hearing. You can also use spongy ear plugs, but I prefer ear muffs.
I wasn't blessed with naturally good eyesight, but I was blessed with a good sense of hearing. And, I do my best to protect it so it can continue to serve me well.
First, let's discuss the dangers of noise when it comes to our hearing, then let's talk about my preference for hearing protection.
The Threat to our Hearing
The two most common threats to our hearing are high frequency sounds and loud noises.
High frequency sounds are those that you often don't notice, but they are there all the time with operating equipment. Whether you're running a drill, a saw, an electric motor or a grinder, the high frequency sounds are there. They might not be loud, but they are the screeching, grating, grinding and whirring noises in the higher frequencies. They are ever present and "wear" on your sense of hearing.
Loud noises come from pounding, engine exhausts, compressors running and operation of pneumatic tools. These sounds are more immediately damaging to your ears. After being exposed to them, you'll often hear a "ringing" in your ears.
A grinder is an example of something that both loud and a source of high frequency noise - something that requires hearing protection each time you use it.
My Preferred Solution
I prefer a set of hearing protection ear muffs for my needs in the area of hearing protection. I try to keep a pair hanging on the lawn mower handle, the handle of the weed whip, the steering wheel of my garden tractor and the back rest of my Allis Chalmers tractor.
Wherever I will likely use them, I like to keep them handy. As far as I'm concerned, I can't have too many pairs of hearing protection ear muffs. If I work in my neighbor's shop, I take a pair with me, just like my gloves and safety glasses.
I prefer ear muffs for hearing protection. My reasoning is four-fold:
- Ear muffs are easy to put on and take off.
- You can use ear plugs and ear muffs in combination for double protection.
- When working in dusty and dirty conditions, ear muffs keep your ears free of dirt and debris.
- They offer some protection against physical harm to your ears.
I also find them more comfortable and easier to use than the ear plugs that have to be crushed down and jammed into the opening of your ear canal.
Drawbacks of Ear Muffs
There are a few drawbacks of hearing protection ear muffs. Simply stated:
- They don't work well with some form of head wear like a hard hat or ball cap.
- Sometimes the temple pieces on glasses will reduce their ability to seal out noises.
- The size of the ear muffs can interfere with getting your head inside of small spaces to take a look at things.
- It's rare, but they can get pulled off or knocked off and then you are suddenly exposed to the high volume and high frequency sounds around you.
It's clear that the choice of hearing protection is yours, but I hope that you do choose to employ hearing protection ear muffs or ear plugs to reduce the likelihood of damage to your hearing.
If you want to hear the telltale sounds of dripping water, your well pump running, or a little rattle in your car, or you just like to listen to the birds in the day, crickets in the evening, and the great masters on your stereo, then use some form of hearing protection and keep the valuable gift of sweet sound in your life.
I like hearing protection ear muffs, and I keep a pair hanging on the noisy and high frequency equipment I use. You might want to do the same.
Done with Hearing Protection Ear Muffs, back to Do It Yourself