Silicone earplugs are used for a variety of purposes. They help muffle and soften noise, so earplugs can be worn at loud concerts. Swimmers wear them to lessen the chance of acquiring swimmer's ear. People who experience ear discomfort when flying because of the change in altitude can wear earplugs to help lessen this pain. Wearers, though, should be mindful of the warnings that come with the use of earplugs.
Placement of Earplug
Do not place the earplug in the ear canal. The earplug should be rolled into a ball and inserted into the outer area of the ear, then the wearer should wait a few moments for the earplug to form to the ear. If the earplug gets into the ear canal, injury or permanent hearing loss could result. Also, the earplug could get stuck, requiring removal by a doctor.
Activities Done in Earplugs
Swimmers should use earplugs for swimming only, not diving. If a swimmer dives while wearing earplugs, he or she runs the risk of the earplug becoming lodged in the ear from the impact of the water. The earplug also could puncture the eardrum. Similarly, do not use earplugs for deep diving, as the water pressure is too great.
Condition of Earplugs
Do not cut, break or stretch earplugs. This could result not only in ineffectiveness of the earplugs, but also in pieces of the earplug becoming lost in the ear canal, requiring attention by a doctor.
Children and Earplugs
Keep young children, especially babies, away from earplugs. While silicone is nontoxic, babies and children can choke on the small pieces.