Blocking snoring and noise at night are amongst the commonest reasons for buying earplugs for use at home. The question is, which type should you buy? There are many different varieties to choose between, which one would be the best for you?
Here is some information about two different types of sleeping ear plugs.
Foam ear plugs. These are not good for sleeping in. The reasons for this are as follows; firstly the discomfort which they invariably cause. Because of the fact they expand in your ear canals they press on the highly sensitive skin lining your ear canals. This means that you may well be woken up by sore ears. The expansion also leads to them pushing themselves out, resulting in the plugs falling out during the night. This type are also unhygienic as they accumulate moisture, dirt and bacteria. Yuck.
Moulded earplugs. This type are ideal for use at night. There are a wide range of reasons for this. The first is that these are more comfortable than other varieties. This is because they are shaped one at a time to fit the gentle contours in your ears. The plugs fit beautifully like a metaphorical lock and key and so effectively eliminate almost all noise at night, helping you get a good night's sleep.
These are ideal for those who use earplugs on a regular basis. ZenPlugs cost far less when you compare them to having your ear plug moulds made by an audiologist because you can make them yourself in a few minutes at home.
ZenPlugs built-in antibacterial Steritouch kills all the nasty germs which are known to often cause ear infections. This means your plugs will be far less likely to become itchy and sore with repeated use. Occasionally people develop ear infections due to wearing your ear plugs every night in bed. This is far less likely with antibacterial varieties. ZenPlugs Sleeping Earplugs are especially designed to be comfortable if lying on your side. The fact is they do not protrude out of the ears which makes them super-comfortable. They will not be pulled out by dragging on your pillow whilst you roll over in the night time.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Foam Ear Plugs?
Foam ear plugs are made from memory foam. This is a polyurethane plastic with various additives to make it stiffer and heavier. They have advantages over other types in that they are cheap and effective at blocking sound, making them commonplace. They are often used in industrial applications as well as on the building sites, oil rigs, factories and in military service.
Despite these clear advantages they has several disadvantages over most other types of ear plugs. The first is that they are not waterproof as they are sponge, absorbing liquid and water-logging the skin. They can make the problem worse by slowing drying and holding water for longer. The water soaks through the wax and squamous epithelium (skin) of the delicate canal allowing bacteria in. This can cause swimmer's ear, (otitis externa). This is an ear infection which causes itching, soreness, pain and discharge.
The second problem is that it expands in the canal, pushing itself out. You may find that if you use them in bed to help you sleep you often wake up with them on the pillow. This is partly because they work their way out. Secondly, this may occur because they are not comfortable and you take them out yourself in your sleep. The reason that they are so uncomfortable is partly due to its' expansion pressing on the sensitive lining of your canal. Also the outside can be quite abrasive and irritating.
The skin lining the canal is unique in the fact that it is thin and is closely fitted to the bone. This makes it sensitive and prone to damage from pointed and abrasive objects inserted into it. If you have early otitis externa foam plugs may make the situation worse. This is because their abrasive nature can inflame the skin further.
The porous nature of the foam version makes them unhygienic as they accumulate dirt, wax, dead skin and other debris during normal use. Although they can be washed and reused a number of times this tends to stiffen and harden them. This makes them less effective and more likely to cause trauma and damage and increase the risk of ear infections such as otitis externa. This often starts with redness, soreness and itching and progresses to pain, bleeding and reduced hearing. It is important to seek medical attention at an early stage to prevent progression.