device meant to be inserted in the ear canal to protect the user's ears from loud noises or the intrusion of water, foreign bodies, dust or excessive wind

An earplug is a device usually used to protect the ears from loud noises. They are put inside the ear canal and can also be used to protect the ear from water, dust or anything that doesn't belong in the ear.

Silicone rubber earplugs for protection against water, dust etc.

Types of ear plugs change

Ear plugs are made using many different materials to be used for different reasons.

  • Wax - these earplugs are harder and usually need to be squeezed and rolled between fingers before pacing in ears
  • Foam - made of polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane, these plugs need to be squeezed and rolled to be put in the ear. When they are put inside, they will expand to fit the ear canal.
  • Silicone - these earplugs are usually softer and are not placed inside the ear canal like foam or wax earplugs. Instead, they are placed in the external part of the ear canal.
  • Flange - flange does not describe the material of these earplugs but their special design. These earplugs are flexible and have ridges and flaps instead of being smooth like the previous earplugs

Ear plugs are also made to be re-used or disposable.

Uses of earplugs change

  • Noise Reduction - the most common use for earplugs is to protect ears from loud sounds. They can be used in places with long periods of noise such as concerts and at restaurants or can be used to block sudden sounds such as an ambulance travelling past you. Ear plugs do not stop all sound from entering your ears, they only reduce sound.
    • Sleeping - some ear plugs are made to be soft and stay inside the ear during sleep to protect against any loud sounds at night such as snoring.
  • Swimming - some ear plugs are made to keep water out of the ears and are useful for swimmers and other people who spend a lot of time in the water, helping to avoid surfer's ear.
  • Flying - for some people, changes in airplane cabin pressure can be painful. There are earplugs that help to prevent this which is very useful during landing and take-off as well as when a passenger is trying to sleep.

Other websites change

  • National Hearing Care Find an audiologist in Australia and get more information on hearing prevention.
  • Bay Audiology Find an audiologist in New Zealand and get more information on hearing loss prevention.