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Man using earplugs to protect his hearing before a concert.

Earplugs can be practical if you’re exposed to loud noises, like, something as straightforward as a spouse who is snoring, or a lawnmower in your yard, or going to a concert at an arena. In the first two cases, they can help protect your hearing by turning down the volume. They help save your sanity and possibly even your marriage, in the last circumstances, by permitting you to get a good night’s sleep. But are your ears being injured by these protectors?

What’s The Point of Utilizing Earplugs?

The argument for earplugs is pretty simple: Properly used, earplugs can minimize your exposure to excessive sound levels and thereby shield your ears. Maybe you’ve observed that your hearing seems different when you leave a loud venue, for instance, a football game with a noisy crowd, and you may also experience symptoms of tinnitus. Those tiny hairs are bent by this sort of noise exposure and that’s why this happens. It usually vanishes within a day or two, because the hair cells have recovered.

But if you’re exposed to extreme decibels regularly, for example, if you work on a construction site or at an airfield, the audio assault on those tiny hair cells is constant. In this circumstance, those hairs cannot heal, they are permanently damaged. You’ve got about 16,000 of those tiny cells inside each cochlea, but up to 50% of them can be harmed or ruined before your hearing has altered enough for the problem to appear in a hearing assessment.

Is it Possible That Your Ears May be Injured by Earplugs?

In terms of safeguarding your ears, you’d think it would be a no-brainer to utilize earplugs. But if your subjected to loud noises on a day to day basis, this seems to be even more obvious (like on the job or when your significant other snores as mentioned), headphones that reduce, but don’t completely cancel, sound or over the head earmuffs are a much smarter choice. Earplugs are better applicable to one-off situations such as a sporting event or concert than for everyday use.

Why? For one, earwax. So that they can protect themselves, your ears generate earwax, and if wearing earplugs is something you do all of the time, they’re going to create more of it, and the earplugs will push it in further. This can result in issues such as impacted earwax, which can cause tinnitus and other hearing disorders.

Ear infections can also result from too much use of earplugs. If you frequently use the same pair, and you fail to clean them from use to use, they can become bacteria traps. At the very least, ear infections are a disruption to your life. But at the worst-case-scenario end of the scale, they can also cause a loss of hearing if left untreated.

How Can You Use Earplugs Safely?

Whether it’s a restful night sleep or protecting your ears, there’s still a big benefit to using earplugs. Using them in the right way and using the correct kind is the key to success. Foam earplugs are the least expensive, which is good because you really should not use them more than once, the cushy, porous material is a germ’s paradise. Don’t put wax or silicone earplugs back in your ears until they are totally dry after utilizing warm water to completely clean them. Accumulation of dampness can cause bacteria or mold so store your earplugs in a well ventilated container.

You might want to talk to us about custom fit earplugs if you want or need them regularly. They are comfortable since they’re made from molds of your ears and they’re reusable. Again though, to protect against any possible hearing problems, it’s essential 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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