One of the five senses, the sense of hearing is most important. The ears are responsible for hearing and audibility. Human ears should not be exposed to a frequency more than 85 decibels for longer than 8 hours. It can cause hearing loss and disable the balancing capability of the body. The noise-induced hearing loss can be easily prevented by an increase in usage of earplugs.

Earplug is a device, which is inserted in the ear canal to protect ears from the intrusion of foreign bodies, water, and wind. Apart from that earplugs protect ears from high-frequency sounds and therefore avoid any kind of hearing disability.

Earplugs are made up of foam and silicone, which are molded and compressed to fit comfortably in the ear canal. They are flexible and soft for long time usage, without giving any discomfort. However, earplugs can be effectively used if the user is trained on its insertion. Proper cleaning and replacement are necessary as the ear wax may destroy the earplugs and prevent further usage.

Purpose of Earplugs

The earplugs are used for protecting ears. However, there are other benefits as well, like earplugs can reduce noise, give protection from intrusion of foreign particles and provide protection of wind and water. The types of earplugs are differentiated on the basis of their usage and purpose. The different types of earplugs are discussed as follows:

Earplugs for Shooting

The incidents of noise-inducing hearing loss are mostly reported near the regions of gunfire. Therefore, it is important to wear earplugs nearby gunfire. The military personnel and hunters use these types of earplugs to protect their ears from loud noise.

Swimming Earplugs

Swim plugs are worn during swimming or showering to prevent the flow of water into the ear. These prevent infection caused due to an inflow of dirty water, which may cause perforation of eardrums and ultimately hearing loss. Any person with pressure equalization tubes or perforated eardrums must use the swim plugs, apart from swimmers.

Earplugs for Flying

The earplugs are also used during flying, it equilibrates the air and pressure changes due to height and atmospheric pressure. They help to prevent any pressure changes and pain during flight. The people affected with Eustachian tube dysfunction and sinus disorders should wear earplugs while flying.

Earplug for Sleeping

The earplugs can be used while sleeping. They provide noise cancellation and helps to enhance sleeping quality. The people with trouble sleep pattern can effectively use the earplug. The earplug for sleeping is designed to fit comfortably in the ear and is made with a soft and flexible material. The sleeping partners of snorers can wear these earplugs to avoid noisy environment. These earplugs are specially designed for travelers as they need to have slept while traveling.

Music Earplugs

Musicians are prone to music-induced hearing loss and hearing disabilities develop due to heavy exposure to high-frequency sound. Therefore, musicians need high fidelity earplugs that let good quality sound to flow inside the ear, keeping away any high-frequency bad noise. These earplugs are commonly used for music professionals for their performance.

Noise-reduction Earplugs

The earplug used for reducing noise, are known as sound plugs. They are most commonly used to cancel unwanted noise from machines, factory, equipment, aircraft, and others from the surrounding. The noise-reduction earplugs are worn by people who work around noisy machinery or equipment. They are of great use to reduce the frequency of noice0induced hearing loss. They can be also used for recreational purpose.

Banded Earplugs

Banded earplugs constitute feature earplugs mounted on a plastic headband. They are stylish looking earplugs that protects the ear from noise and external environment in a more protective manner. They are available in a variety of designs and styles and can be used according to the purpose. The headband gives a better fit and protection.

Health Risk of using Earplugs

Earplugs are medically usable and recommended by healthcare professionals. However, there are some health risks associated with earplugs usage. One should keep strict vigilance while inserting earplug, if the earplugs are inserted way too deep then it may cause negative air pressure inside the ear. It may also push ear wax towards the eardrum and cause infection, and cause irritation in the ear canal. Therefore, it is advised to clean the ear before inserting earplugs. The earplugs should be properly cleaned after usage and well-dried. These are some of the precautions which can be adhered to avoid any infection in the eardrum and cause discomfort.

Earplugs are safe to use, and they have a variety of purpose. It is beneficial for protecting the ears from foreign bodies, exposure to water and wind. The main purpose of using earplugs is to protect ears from a noisy environment. However, they have some health risk like negative air pressure inside the ear and ear infection, which can be easily mitigated by proper usage and maintenance of the earplugs.

Author's Bio: 

I am a writer with more than 4 years of experience writing different topics. When I am not writing then I like to play Football or Cricket. Also, I like to make more friends. I am a reader in the night and writer in the day.