Man using earplugs to protect his hearing before a concert.

Earplugs can be helpful if you’re subjected to loud sounds, such as for example, something as straightforward as a spouse who is snoring, or a lawnmower in your backyard, or going to an arena to see a concert. Lowering the volume is how earplugs help in the first two cases. They assist in saving your peace of mind and possibly even your relationships, in the last case, by permitting you to get a good night’s sleep. But are these ear protectors, in fact, causing harm to your hearing?

What’s The Point of Utilizing Earplugs?

It’s a fairly simple argument for using earplugs: Properly used, earplugs can help to safeguard your hearing by minimizing your exposure to extreme decibel levels. When you leave a loud venue, like a football game where the Jumbotron keeps exhorting the crowd to, GET LOUD, when the other team kicks off, you’ve most likely noticed that your hearing seems different, and you could also suffer from symptoms of tinnitus. Those little hairs are bent by this sort of noise exposure and that’s the reason why this happens. It commonly vanishes within a couple of days, because the hair cells have recovered.

But in some instances, there is a continual assault on those little hairs, this is especially true if you work in a noisy trade such as the music business or around jet planes. As opposed to bending and then recovering, the cells are permanently compromised. Inside each cochlea, you have about 16,000 of these tiny hair cells, but up to 50% of them can be damaged or ruined before your hearing has changed enough for the problem to show up in a hearing test.

Is it Possible That Your Ears Could be Harmed by Earplugs?

That being said, you’d think that using earplugs would be an obvious choice in terms of protecting your ears. 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 spouse snores as previously stated), over-the-head earmuffs or noise-reducing (but not completely stopping) headphones are a smarter option. Earplugs aren’t well suited to daily use but are better suited to one time occasions such as a concert or sporting events.

Why? The first problem is, earwax. Your ears make wax to protect themselves, and if you’re regularly using earplugs, they’re going to generate more of it, and the earplugs will push it in further. Tinnitus and other issues can be the outcome from impacted earwax.

Ear infections can also be the consequence from too much use of earplugs. If you repeatedly wear the same pair, and you fail to clean them between uses, they can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Certainly, ear infections are a disturbance to your day to day life. If left untreated, in the worst situations, they can trigger an ear infection.

How Can You Utilize Earplugs Safely?

Earplugs still have a strong positive, whether it’s protecting your ears or getting a peaceful night’s rest. You just need to be certain you’re using the correct kind and utilizing them in the correct way. Foam earplugs are the least costly, which is helpful because you really shouldn’t reuse them, the cushy, porous material is a germ’s haven. Wax or silicone earplugs are reusable, but you need to keep them clean, wash them with warm water and mild soap to cleanse them, and don’t put them back in your ears until they’re completely dry. Buildup of humidity can cause mold and bacteria so store your earplugs in a well ventilated place.

If you want or need to wear earplugs regularly, you might want to talk to us about getting custom-made earplugs. They are comfortable since they are crafted from molds of your ears and they’re reusable. But it’s crucial not to forget, good earplug hygiene can lessen hearing damage.

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