Earplugs are hardly glamorous to look at or exciting to wear for most people, but they actually have a lot of benefits and uses.
Just about anyone who works in a noisy environment, or lives in one, should keep a pair of earplugs close at hand to keep their ears safe. Swimmers, sailors, and travellers can also benefit from using earplugs.
There are many little things you can do that pay off in major benefits to your health and overall wellbeing. Wearing earplugs may be one of those small things you can do.
Here are a few of the ways that earplugs have helped to change the lives of those who wear them.
Earplugs Make Using Tools and Machinery Safer
Earplugs are vital for those who regularly use heavy equipment and power tools. It’s not just the sheer amount of noise that these industrials make that makes it important to wear earplugs. They are important because the noise is incessant and workers deal with it for hours at a time. Prolonged exposure to noise is dangerous and can lead to permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Earplugs come recommended by most occupational health experts.
Earplugs make Listening to Music Safer
Tinnitus is a major issue that affects over 6 million Brits. It causes a ringing in the ears that can be so severe it impacts the ability of the sufferer to live and work properly. The amount of people living with tinnitus is expected to increase by over a half a million across the next decade, according to research from the British Tinnitus Association (BTA).
Tinnitus is a major problem for musicians and music aficionados. This is why every good music shop has their own custom-made earplugs on offer. High-end earplugs for musicians and concert-goers are made to filter out harmful frequencies without impairing the quality of the music. Even then, some people still don’t want to wear them at concerts for whatever reason.
Go For a Swim Without Getting an Infection
Swimmers also stand to benefit from wearing and using earplugs. For swimmers, special waterproof earplugs prevent water from getting to the inner ear. Not only does this prevent ears from getting “clogged”, but they can also prevent earache, perforated ear drums, and an ear infection known as “Swimmer’s Ear” due to how common it is among swimmers.
Sleep Better at Night with Earplugs
Research suggests that wearing earplugs is a great way to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep impairment can be caused by ambient noises interfering with sleep. If you live near train lines or a major road, then you understand these issues.
Wearing earplugs for sleeping overnight eliminates the noise, helping you to focus on resting and recovering. This applies to low noise levels too, as the brain still hears noises while you sleep. The result of blocking out this noise is that you have reduced stress hormone levels and get more REM sleep, which are the two key factors in getting proper rest.
Many people who wear earplugs also combine them with an eye mask to ensure total darkness and peace of mind for restful sleep.
Some further reading that may be of interest is an article in the Guardian in December 2018, entitled How I finally learned to sleep
Earplugs Prevent Sea Sickness
Earplugs can offer benefits for more than just light sleepers. If you get nauseous at sea, then earplugs may be a low-tech solution for the problem. Lots of sailors report that putting an earplug in the non-dominant ear (left-ear for right-handed people and right-ear for left-handed people) can help to prevent sea sickness.
This sounds a little strange, but this simple little trick could change the life of the sailing enthusiast who suffers from sea sickness and nausea.
Fly in Comfort With Earplugs
The benefits of wearing earplugs while sailing apply to people who feel pain due to air pressure changes in airplane cabins (as well as the noise produced by a plane). There are specialist earplugs designed for airplanes that reduce airflow to the inner ear. This helps to modulate changes in air pressure and prevents eardrums from expanding. It’s the expansion of eardrums that causes pain for around a third of frequent fliers, and the right pair of earplugs can make this a problem of the past.
Earplugs are a handy little item that many people forget about. They aren’t sexy or anything, and they aren’t fashionable, but they are highly useful. They are far more useful than anyone might imagine. Whether you want to be able to sail comfortably or keep your hearing when using power tools, having a good pair of earplugs is vital.
How To Sleep On A Plane
Getting some shut eye on a plane is an art and the majority of us are not that great at it. This article has some great tips on how to sleep on a plane, from uncrossing your legs to making a tactical seat choice.