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28 Mar 2013

Can Sleeping with Earplugs Damage Your Ears?

Not everyone has the luxury of sleeping in a quiet bedroom. Snoring partners, nearby traffic or railroads all contribute to noise pollution. Shift work and jet-lag, force us to nap during daytime amidst noise. Apart from disturbing your sleep, noise pollution has many ill effects on your health. Earplugs are an easy solution to tackle noise pollution.

But is it safe to use earplugs? What precautions do you need to take when using earplugs?

Earplugs cut off only a portion of noise. Usually it cuts the background noise, leaving you receptive for your alarm tone and human voice.

Ear infection

Earplugs close the external ear canal, and prevent the natural drying process. The moist, warm environment invites bacterial and fungal growth.

Solution: Clean your earplugs with soap and water. Wash your hands before inserting them before going to sleep. And change them regularly.

Earwax compaction

The external ear canal is coated in earwax to protect itself from dust particles. They gradually flow out of the ear canal. When you push the earplugs too far, it can push earwax in, causing it to clog.

Solution: Insert the earplugs carefully and avoid pushing it too far inside.

Damage to eardrum

Earplugs make the external ear canal airtight. Overenthusiastic pushing of earplugs can suddenly increase the pressure inside the canal. Sleeping on your side can also push the earplugs inwards. This causes pain and can even wake you up. Same can happen when you try to remove it quickly.

Solution: Take care when inserting and removing the earplugs. When you try a set of earplugs, check them with your head turned sideways.

Dependency on earplugs

When earplugs are giving you good results, it tempts you to use them more often. Most of the ill effects of earplug use result from prolong use.

Solution: Try other methods to reduce noise pollution in your bedroom. Use thick curtains and use earmuffs.

Share this post with a friend who uses earplugs. And share with us your own problems or solutions with using earplugs

Here's a short video clip showing you the correct way of inserting earplugs.



10 comments:

  1. Nice article.! but i searched everywhere for foam earplugs i only found the rubber like version in Sri Lanka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks again for motivating me to write this post. Will keep you posted if and when I find a good set of earplugs in SL.

      Delete
  2. Excellent practical tips, Nav!

    Meanwhile, if looking for posh earplugs, I'm sure you can order online and get them posted.

    -supercheryl.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cheryl! Hope you don't have to resort to earplugs for a good sleep.

      Delete
  3. Ear plugs are dangerous for ears as they can damage it. The above blog is very informative and useful to read. We all have a habit of using earplugs while sleeping so that we can feel comfortable and no other noise can disturb us. We can be in our own world with our favorite music in earplugs.Many people have got affected by these but this is a good thing that there are many solutions available. I also do this many a times but now after reading this blog i got aware of this thing. Thank you Naveen for the information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stela, for the nice comments. Some people will benefit from using ear plugs in a correct manner.

      Delete
  4. An interesting article. I have been using earplugs for at least 5 years now while sleeping and I think I actually have become dependant on them. I tend to have trouble falling asleep when I don't wear them except when I just forget to put them in. This would tend to mean it is a psychological need rather than a real need. Just like a baby with a dummy!

    I think your hearing turns off once you reach deep sleep but the problem is getting into that stage without the earplugs. As people get older there is a tendency be more sensitive to noises. This is linked to EEG patterns in the brain where the pattern shows less spindles. The more spindles you have the deeper you sleep and the less likely you are to be woken up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd rather jump off a bridge--- than stop wearing my ear plugs !

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    2. I've used them for about 4 years and I have a different take. My hearing is becoming more sensitive and I hear better than I did before i started used the plugs at night. Its given me the best sleep years of my life (always had trouble before) and better hearing capability during the day.

      Delete
  5. Will somebody please explain to me how I'm supposed to sleep with big honking hearing protectors sticking out of the side of my head?

    ReplyDelete

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