Will earplugs be damaging to your ears if you wear them for too long? Is it ok to wear earplugs every night?
When you have problems sleeping or falling asleep one of the more accessible solutions is getting a pair of ear plugs. But what happens when you wear earplugs for 7-9 hours straight? Can they be damaging to your ears? And what will happen after years of doing this? What are the potential risks of wearing earplugs for a very long time?
The good thing about earplugs is they allow you to sleep as they almost eliminate all outside sounds. I said “almost” because you will be able to hear you alarm clock ringing or God forbid your smoke detector! You will just hear the important things.
Is it ok to wear earplugs every night?
Long-term usage of earplugs will often result in an excessive buildup of earwax. Our ears naturally produce earwax that has the role of cleaning the ears of bacteria. Earplugs will block this natural flow thus the earwax will have nowhere to go but back into the ear canal and the ear or even against the eardrum. This could lead to minor infections, swelling especially when the earplugs are used daily.
You can eventually begin hearing ringing in your ears, pain or even experience a temporary hearing loss. And as you ears are not cleaning themselves, bacteria will start to develop inside your ear. Bacteria might also develop on your earplugs as they can’t be cleaned as much as they should (this is why I recommend you don’t use a pair of earplugs for more than 3 days) and you can get ear infections.
If you really need to wear earplugs because you might not be able to sleep otherwise or maybe you have need of them at your workplace, try to change a pair every 3-4 days max just to keep safe. It would also be great if you could give your ears a “break” from using them for one night every 3-5 days. This would allow your earwax to flow normally and ear infections would be greatly reduced.
Wearing earplugs at work for extended periods of time or doing both (wearing them at night and at work) could lead to serious hearing problems. Please consult a doctor in cases where noise is a real problem for you, both at work and at home. You can even try to get some headphones to wear while you work instead of earplugs. Earplugs also become less and less effective the longer they are used and they will soon not fit your ear like they did in day one.
Another good replacement for earplugs would be ear muffs – see some here. Many people have said they feel much better with these instead of earplugs. Try them and see how you sleep.
You can even try to replace earplugs with something like a white noise machine (see some here) that can cover up the noise in your room and induce a sleepy-like state.
So, is it ok to wear earplugs every night? No, it’s not and you should avoid doing thisas it can lead to serious problems in time.
If you really have to wear earplugs here are some of the best earplugs for sleeping available.
So, is it ok to wear earplugs every night? No it is not. The more you wear them the higher chances are your ear will get infected, you will start losing your hearing or you will hear a ringing in your ear (sometimes accompanied by pain).
Please take good care of your ears, consult a doctor when deciding whether or not to wear earplugs each night (and even in the daytime), try to replace them (maybe at least partially – on some nights), etc.
Helpful resources on this matter: