Ear Plugs

Written by Amy Hall
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There are a variety of different earplugs on the market that are used for several reasons. Earplugs can also be worn for protection from loud noises, which over time can cause permanent damage to the inner ear. In most cases, adults who work in environments where loud noise is the common backdrop, such as factories or warehouses, earplugs are often mandatory. Concerts can also be extremely hard on the ears, which is why earplugs are recommended for protection.

Earplugs and Their Alternatives

The biggest reason children wear earplugs is to keep water from entering the ear during swimming. Children who are plagued with swimmer's ear are often encouraged to wear silicone putty molds that can be shaped to the contour of the ear to better seal out water. Earplugs come in both child and adult sizes, as the "one size fits all" concept just does not apply to something as unique as the opening of the ear.

If you were prone to swimmer's ear, which is characterized by pain in the ear canal caused by trapped water, there are a number of options. While earplugs can be effective when used properly, children often don't correctly insert the plugs, making them ineffectual. Also, if your plugs do not fit you exactly, then the problem may be exacerbated.

Another route you can take to treat swimmer's ear is to simply dry the ear canal after being in the water. Specifically designed ear canal dryers exist that do just that, by blowing air gently into the ear. Most take about one minute to work, which is less than many brands of ear drops that claim to dry ears. By keeping the ear dry, bacteria is prevented from growing in the ear. In this manner, ear canal dryers can help treat ear problems. If you plan on using the dryer with more than one person, you might want to look for a model that has interchangeable earpieces, since this makes the process faster and safe on the ears.

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