More on Ear Infection and relation to ear plugs

Ear plugs are a useful and handy aid for loud environments. They are a common aid to reduce noise, but are earplugs related to ear infections?

Many workers prefer to use ear plugs to reduce excessive noise, assist their concentration, and keep focus. In some cases, people may also use ear plugs at home to help their sleep or just relief from the day’s commotion. Ear plugs are commonly used to decrease surrounding sounds and increase productivity. Whether using it for work at home or at the work place, you should be aware of the health issues accompanied by the use of ear plugs.

One of the possible side effects of constant use of ear plugs is ear infection. Ear infections are a common risk associated with the use of ear plugs. The ear plugs do not cause ear infections, but they can act as catalysts for ear infections.

How ear plugs create ear infections

While the ear plugs themselves are not responsible for the ear infections, improper use can make the ear plugs a cause for ear infections. In some cases, constant use of ear plugs prevents the ear from ventilating properly, which in turn causes ear pain and ear infections.

Another case where the ear plugs cause an infection is when there is poor hygiene of the ear and the ear plugs. If the ear canal is not cleaned properly, the ear plugs are passed from one person to another, and the ear plugs are not cleaned from time to time – bacteria can grow on the plugs and pass to the ear itself.

different ear plug shapes

Using ear plugs correctly to prevent ear infections

When using the ear plugs on a daily basis, it is recommended to take some precautions. Proper use and habits can aid in the prevention of ear infections when using earplugs.

One precaution which can be taken is the use of single use earplugs. Using the plugs only once is better, and while it may be costly, it is a small price compared to the possible hazards.

A second option is to use a cleaning solution to clean the plugs and reduce the risk of bacteria growing on the ear plug. There are also hypoallergenic plugs which prevent irritation to the ear canal when used.

In some cases, the use of earmuffs is suggested. Earmuffs are the large “headphone” like devices which you put on your head and ears. They offer a good coverage of the ear, and though they are noticeable, the earmuffs are not inserted in to the ear.


Swimming with ear plugs

One of the widespread myths is that ear plugs can prevent ear infections when swimming. The truth is that earplugs may help avoid it, but the water usually cause an infection only if the ear is not cleaned properly after swimming and the water were not clean in the first place.

In most cases, an ear infection is a middle ear infection – caused by the dysfunction of the Eustachian tube which located inside the ear. The middle ear infection is bacteria growing inside the ear (behind the ear drum), so ear plugs have nothing to do with it.

Another myth is that swimming with ear tubes requires ear plugs. In fact, there is no need for ear plugs since the ear tubes are too small to allow water to enter the middle ear.

If you use earplugs constantly, remember the precautions needed. If you already have an ear infection, you can check some of the suggestion in this article about alternative remedies for ear infections.

Feel well and don’t neglect your body and hygiene!

Questions or opinions? Let us know!