Are Earplugs Helpful For Your Ears

Man using earplugs to protect his hearing before a concert.

Earplugs can be helpful if you’re subjected to loud sounds, such as, something as straightforward as a spouse who is snoring, or a lawnmower in your backyard, or going to an arena to see a concert. In the first two situations, they can assist in protecting your ears by decreasing the volume. They assist in saving your peace of mind and perhaps even your marriage, in the last instance, by permitting you to get a good night’s sleep. But are these ear protectors, actually, harming your hearing?

What’s The Point of Utilizing Earplugs?

The argument for earplugs is quite simple: When used properly, earplugs can reduce your exposure to excessive volume levels and thereby shield your ears. After you leave a loud place, say a football game where the announcer keeps telling the crowd to, GET LOUD, every time the opposing team kicks off, you’ve most likely noticed that your hearing seems different, and you may also experience symptoms of tinnitus. Those small hairs are bent by this sort of noise exposure and that’s why this occurs. It usually goes away within a day or two, because the hair cells have recovered.

But in some instances, there is a relentless attack on those tiny hairs, this is especially true if you work in a high volume trade like construction or in an airport. In this case, those hairs cannot recover, they are permanently damaged. you have just about 16,000 of those little cells in each cochlea, but up to 50% of them can be harmed or ruined before your hearing has altered enough for the problem to show up in a hearing exam.

Is it Conceivable to Damage Your Hearing by Using Earplugs?

With regards to protecting your ears, it seems like it would be obvious to use earplugs. But primarily if you’re in scenarios where you’re exposed to loud noises all the time (like on the job or with the previously mentioned snoring spouse), over-the-head earmuffs or noise-reducing (but not completely stopping) headphones are a smarter option. Earplugs aren’t the best choice for everyday use but are better suited to one time events like a concert or sporting events.

Why? The first problem is, earwax. Your ears create wax to defend themselves, and if you’re constantly wearing earplugs, more earwax will be generated, and you’ll probably jam it in with the plugs. This can lead to issues like impacted earwax, which can cause tinnitus and other hearing problems.

Ear infections can be another complication for people who use earplugs. If you repeatedly use the same pair, and you fail to clean them from use to use, they can become bacteria traps. Ear infections are, at the very least, an uncomfortable annoyance. But at the worst-case-scenario end of the spectrum, they can also be the cause of hearing loss if neglected.

How Can You Safely Utilize Earplugs?

Earplugs nevertheless have a strong benefit, whether it’s protecting your hearing or enjoying a good night’s sleep. You just need to be sure you’re using the proper kind and using them the correct way. The porous material of foam earplugs is a germ sanctuary so it’s a helpful thing that they are the least costly. Silicone or wax earplugs are reusable, but you need to keep them clean, use warm water and mild soap to wash them, and don’t put them back in your ears until they’re thoroughly dry. Buildup of humidity can cause bacteria or mold so keep your earplugs in a well ventilated place.

If you want or need to use earplugs regularly, you may want to get in touch with us about having custom-made earplugs. These are constructed from unique molds of your ears, they’re reusable and since they’re fitted to your ears, comfortable. Again though, to avoid any possible hearing damage, it’s crucial to put into practice good earplug hygiene!

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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