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