Are Ear Plugs Bad for Your Ears? How to Use Them Properly?

Are Ear Plugs Bad for Your Ears? How to Use Them Properly?

Disturbed by the loud sounds you hear throughout the night and cannot get enough sleep? Well, it happens! People use pillows, cotton swabs, or earplugs to cancel out this noise. The self-made cotton plugs or pillows are not that helpful but ear plugs do work.

Is it okay to use the ear plugs for sleeping? Are earplugs bad for your ears? Can ear drums damage your eardrums? Let's see how much of this is true!

What Are the Benefits of Sleeping with Ear Plugs?

Enhances Quality of Sleep

Using earplugs can help improve your sleep quality significantly. Some people are sensitive to even slight sounds and wake up repeatedly throughout the night. This affects the sleep quality making you feel tired the next day. Moreover, a snoring partner or loud sounds of music played by your roommate can be quite disturbing. That's when you can use earplugs to cancel out all the noise and sleep peacefully.

Improved Health

Our sleep quality is highly related to our health. Our body needs a break to function efficiently after a tiring day. Sleeping can help us rest and prepare ourselves for the coming day. Due to reduced sleep, our body does not get enough rest and we become prone to a number of diseases. For instance, it can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, obesity, strokes, and depression. Our immune function also gets affected which impacts the body's health and healing process negatively.

Better Mood

When your sleep quality is not good and you are not sleeping for a sufficient time, it makes you tired and irritated. Your mind will not be able to work properly and you will experience sudden changes in your mood. Using earplugs can help you sleep soundly thus making your mind fresh when you wake up. The mind processes your emotions when you sleep thus giving you time to recover and react to difficult situations the right way. Your mood will be better and you will have enough energy to spend the next day smoothly.

Acts as Non-medical therapy for irregular Sleep Patterns

People often experience irregular sleep patterns due to depression, anxiety, loud noise, or snoring. Those with severe difficulty in sleeping usually take pills to sleep. Those who take pills often experience dizziness, have muddled thinking, and balance problems when they wake up. It also affects the normal sleep cycle and disturbs the sleep quality. Therefore, some people prefer using earplugs as an alternative to sleeping pills. It might not work the same way for all but some people do find using the earplugs effective.

Types of Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are useful in many ways but you cannot just buy any. You must be aware of common earplug types so that you can choose the right one for yourself. So, let's learn about these types together!

Wax Ear Plugs

Wax ear plugs are very soft and one of the most comfortable ear plugs available. They are either made of natural or synthetic wax. They can be easily molded according to your ears. In addition, you can wear them repeatedly as long as their quality and effectiveness are the same.

Silicone Ear Plugs


Silicone ear plugs come in two types: the hard silicone ear plugs and the soft silicone ear plugs. Hard ones are a bit uncomfortable to use and plug in your ears. They can be pre-molded and decrease the sound intensity evenly. On the other hand, soft silicone plugs are more comfortable to use and can be molded like wax ones.

Foam Ear Plugs

Foam ear plugs are small, soft, and porous plugs that are made up of soft foam. When you plug them in, they expand and cover your ears to block out any loud noises. However, their porous nature makes them easily susceptible to bacteria therefore you need to replace them more often.

Canal Caps

Canal caps are earplugs that have a stiff band to hold the earplugs in place when you insert them. Foldable or pre-molded ear plugs can be attached with the stiff bands. It can be slightly uncomfortable to use these for sleeping straight as the band can put pressure on your neck. So, they are better for those who want earplugs for a walk or usually sleep sideways.

What are the Side Effects of Sleeping with Ear Plugs?


Sleeping with earplugs every night increases the chances of infection in the ears. These infections are common when you use the plugs again and again without properly cleaning them. The bacteria can stick to the plugs either from outside or from the build-up wax on the ear plugs. Once the infection is developed, you will feel pain while inserting the plugs into the ears.

Ear Wax Buildup

Ear plugs can push the wax deeper into the ear canal when used regularly. These plugs also hinder the natural ear-cleaning mechanism thus the wax produced remains in the ear. This increases wax build-up which ultimately increases the risk of infection, discomfort, and hearing loss. You might also have an itchy sensation and feel ringing sounds in the ear.

Ear Blockage

Lastly, earplugs can also cause ear blockage. This occurs mostly when the ear wax is pushed deeper into the ears. You feel a sensation of fullness and hear muffled sounds. The blockage can be temporarily relieved by popping your ears but the permanent solution is to use the earplugs carefully.

How to Solve This?

To minimize the risk of side effects caused by earplugs, it is best to maintain the cleanliness of the earplugs and ears as well. You can just wipe the earplugs with a soft cloth. As for build-up ear wax in the ears, you can use the Bebird Note 5 Pro ear wax removal kit.

This ear-cleaning kit offers you different benefits. For example, it has precision tweezers that can help you grasp the ear wax easily and remove it. Furthermore, you can see the whole process on your whole as the tweezers are equipped with a small 10-megapixel camera. The device is nearly the size of a pen therefore you can keep it with you all the time.

How to Use Ear Plugs Properly?

Foam earplugs

Since you need to shape the foam earplugs using your hands, the first step is to wash your hands thoroughly. This reduces the risk of ear infections. Then hold the ear plug between your thumb and index finger and roll it until it attains a smaller shape. The earplugs need to be rolled so that it thins up lengthwise and not like a ball. After achieving the right size, insert it into the ear by pulling your ear backward.

Wax earplugs

The moldable wax ear plugs come wrapped up in a cotton ball. First, you need to remove the cotton covering. For this roll the ball between your two fingers and use your other hand to pull away the cotton wrapping. Then hold the ball in your fist for 40 seconds so that it softens and gives it a cone shape. Lastly, insert the wax plug in the ear so that a small end is sticking out. Spread this end on the opening of the ear canal so that it seals off completely.

Pre-molded earplugs

Pre-molded reusable earplugs do not need any shaping before inserting them into the ears. Therefore, ensure that you are getting the right size while purchasing the earplugs. Before insertion, read the instructions carefully on the package and then insert them into the ear. For this purpose, pull the ear back and insert the plug gently.


Having adequate sleep is essential to reduce the risk of cardiac diseases. It also improves our mental health and helps us work more actively. But you cannot always sleep soundly. The snoring of your partner, the horns of vehicles, or your roommate scrolling reels at full volume can disturb your deep sleep.

Earplugs can help you create a barrier to all these sounds and sleep peacefully. However, using these plugs without precautions increases the risk of infection, wax build-up, and ear blockage. Therefore, proper care is essential if you want to use earplugs regularly.

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