Earplugs are useful for protecting the ears from loud noises. People also use them for sleeping. Whether a person is a light sleeper living in a noisy city or a spouse trying to find relief from a partner’s snoring, earplugs can help. However, there is a growing concern as to whether sleeping with earplugs every night is safe. If you sleep with earplugs, there are essential things you should know about wearing them.
Improving The Quality Of Sleep
According to research, sleeping with earplugs can drastically improve the quality of your sleep. The quality of sleep is as significant as the amount of sleep one receives. For a great many people, earplugs are the only way to block out the sleep-depriving noise that interferes with good quality sleep, which over time can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Earplugs can block snoring, which is a common problem for many sleep-deprived spouses. Plugs can also benefit the person with tinnitus as they block noise and reduce the ringing in the ears that is so often described by those with tinnitus.
The Hazards Of Using Earplugs
Earplugs are generally safe to wear, but there are some possible dangers associated with using them, including:
- Removing earplugs too fast. Quick removal of earplugs can damage the inner ear because the suction created by the plug can pull on the eardrum and potentially rupture it. Remember to pull the plugs out slowly and twist as you tug.
- Pushing earplugs in too far. When an earplug goes in too deep, the chances of a ruptured eardrum increase. Pain, pressure, and difficulty pulling a plug out are all indicators of excessive depth. Try sleeping in a position that will not inadvertently push the earplugs in too far.
- Ear infections. Earplugs can block ear wax from naturally falling out of your ear. This excessive wax buildup can lead to an infection due to the bacteria that is present in the wax. Bacteria present on unclean earplugs sits in your ear for hours at a time leading to ear infections.
- Impacted ear wax. The ear cleans itself by allowing ear wax to be carried out of the ear naturally. An earplug acts as a stopper and keeps the wax trapped inside of the ear, causing infections and wax build-up.
Minimizing The Risks
If you use earplugs to sleep, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risks associated with their use:
- Use earplugs occasionally. Using earplugs infrequently can reduce the risk of ear infections and injuries.
- Keep the earplugs clean. Wash your earplugs with mild soap and warm water then pat dry with a towel. Keep your earplugs stored in a case when not in use.
- Keep ears clean and dry. Avoid inserting earplugs into a wet ear as this will trap water inside the ear leading to infections.
How To Use Earplugs
If your earplugs are the foam type, roll them into a cylindrical shape and insert halfway into the ear where they will expand. If the plugs are of the cone-shaped design and do not expand, insert the small end into the ear canal and lightly shove the earplug for a tight fit. Custom-fit earplugs are also an option. Earplugs are a fantastic option for helping you get quality sleep. Just be sure to follow recommendations in the safe use of these products.