While earplugs can help preserve hearing when working around heavy machinery or aircraft or when swimming, they need to be used correctly. If they are not worn correctly or the wrong type is used, they can also damage hearing. Here are some safety tips for using earplugs at work or at home.
Wear the Right Type
There are many varieties of earplugs, including foam, hi-fi, silicone, custom, and vented or non-vented.
Choosing a pair of earplugs will depend on the reason for wearing them. Musicians will wear hi-fi earplugs so they can hear musical sounds but still protect their hearing. Vented earplugs are worn while doing water sports such as swimming or surfing. If you work around loud sounds, then custom earplugs will be the best choice.
Keep Them Clean
If you wear foam earplugs, then you should wear a new pair every day to ensure that they are clean. However, if you have molded or custom earplugs, then they should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from accumulating on them and to keep dirt out of the ear canal. In addition, ears should be irrigated regularly to eliminate excess earwax that can add strain on the ear canal and result in ear pain, ear infections, and hearing loss.
Put Earplugs in Correctly
It is important to place earplugs in your ears correctly; otherwise, they will not do what they were bought to do, which is protect your hearing. Plastic molded earplugs should be inserted by holding them by the stem and carefully inserting them, but never forcing them, into your ears. They are made to form a seal so if they are inserted correctly, you will be able to feel it.
Consider Buying Custom Earplugs
If you work around loud sounds or use earplugs at night for sleeping or when swimming, you should consider having custom earplugs made to protect your ears. Over time, they will help you save money because you won’t need to buy new supplies of foam earplugs so you can change them every day. Custom earplugs can be bought at an audiologist’s office or you can buy them online here: www. zenplugs.com/molded-earplugs/ .
Have Ears Examined Regularly
The health of your ears is important for maintaining your hearing so you should have them examined regularly if you wear earplugs at work daily and/or during recreational activities. They should also be checked if your ears seem to be stuffed up. Stuffy ears could indicate earwax build-up but since hearing loss is usually painless, you could be experiencing some hearing loss. It is a good idea to see an ear doctor once a year to make sure your ears are healthy and to have built-up earwax removed.
Taking care of your ears will help preserve your hearing and it can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia or the emotional repercussions linked to hearing loss. Wearing the correct earplugs and taking care of them and your ears can also keep your ears healthy whether you use earplugs for working, for sleeping, or to play water sports.