If you’re exposed to loud sounds, say using a lawnmower in your yard, going to a venue to see your favorite band play, or simply sleeping in your own bed next to a snoring spouse, earplugs may be practical. Turning down the sound level is how earplugs can help in the first two instances. They help save your sanity and perhaps even your relationships, in the last instance, by enabling you to get a good night’s sleep. But is your hearing being harmed by these protectors?
What’s The Point of Using Earplugs?
The case for earplugs is pretty simple: Properly used, earplugs can limit your exposure to excessive noise levels and thereby protect your hearing. Maybe you’ve observed that your hearing seems different after you leave a loud venue, for instance, a football game with a noisy crowd, and you may also experience symptoms of tinnitus. Those little hairs are bent by this sort of noise exposure and that’s why this happens. It often goes away within a couple of days, because the hair cells have recovered.
But in certain instances, there is a relentless assault on those little hairs, especially if you work in a high volume industry such as the music business or around jet planes. In this instance, those hairs don’t recover, they are permanently injured. you have around 16,000 of those little cells in each cochlea, but up to 50% of them can be destroyed or at least damaged before you would see the different in a hearing test.
Is it a Possibility to Harm Your Hearing by Using Earplugs?
With all that, you’d think that wearing earplugs would be an obvious choice with regards to protecting your hearing. But if your exposed to loud noises on a day to day basis, this seems to be even more obvious (like on the job or with the above mentioned snoring spouse), headphones that reduce, but don’t completely cancel, sound or over the head earmuffs are a much better choice. Earplugs aren’t the best choice for everyday use but are a smarter choice for one off occasions like a concert or sporting events.
Why? The first problem is, earwax. So that they can protect themselves, your ears generate earwax, and if you’re frequently using earplugs, they will produce more of it, and you are likely to push it in with the plugs. Tinnitus and other problems can be the outcome from impacted earwax.
An ear infection can be another complication for people who wear earplugs. If you continually use the same pair, and you don’t clean them between uses, they can become bacteria traps. Ear infections are, at a minimum, an uncomfortable inconvenience. If left untreated, in the worst situations, they can trigger an ear infection.
How Can You Safely Use Earplugs?
Whether it’s a good night sleep or safeguarding your hearing, there’s still a formidable upside to using earplugs. You just have to be certain you’re using the correct kind and utilizing them the right way. Foam earplugs are the least costly, which is good because you really shouldn’t reuse them, the cushy, porous material is a germ’s haven. Don’t put wax or silicone earplugs back in your ears until they are totally dry after utilizing warm water to entirely clean them. Accumulation of dampness can cause mold and bacteria so keep your earplugs in a well ventilated container.
If you want or need to wear earplugs regularly, you might want to consult us about getting custom-made earplugs. These are made from unique molds of your ears, they can be reused and since they’re fitted to your ears, their comfortable. But it’s important not to forget, good earplug hygiene can lessen hearing damage.