Silicone earplugs are a widely used type of hearing protection due to their low cost, high efficiency, and ease of use. For the consumer, the ease of use is the most enticing of this type of earplugs’ attributes. This ease is due to the use of silicone itself because of its memory trait. This trait makes them easy to insert and reliable in their performance. They also provide a comfortable surface for sleeping on as well as provide a water tight seal for swimming or water sports.
There are actually two types of silicone earplugs, the most common soft type and the less common hard type. This article describes how to use the soft, moldable type. Some reusable earplugs are made of hard silicone and are not moldable. These are effective earplugs, but do not provide the same level of comfort and water protection as soft silicone earplugs do.
The following will give you specific instructions about the use of silicone earplugs:
Before inserting silicone earplugs, it is important to clean your hands to prevent bacteria from infecting your ear. Roll one of the earplugs in your hand until it’s shaped like a fat cylinder or a slight cone. Insert the earplug into your ear and hold it there for 10-15 seconds. This is where the memory trait is most useful. The silicone will naturally fill your outer ear canal, blocking your inner ear from harmful sound waves and creating a water tight seal. Repeat this process with the other earplug in your other ear.
Use caution while removing these earplugs. Though removal has a high rate of safety, there are some risks. If the seal created between the plug and ear canal is not broken before removal, damage to the inner ear may occur. Also, the plug itself may tear, leaving a piece in the ear canal. Before removing, pull the outer edge of the plug and pull it toward the ground or the back of the ear. This will break the seal. You can then pull the plug out of your ear canal.
Silicone earplugs are reusable, but be sure to wash them often. The easiest way to wash them is with soap and warm water. Be sure they are thoroughly dry before reuse.
Though silicone earplugs can be easily washed, they should be replaced frequently to avoid risk of infection or irritation in your ear. Also, due to their size, these earplugs can be easily lost. If you are buying them yourself, it is certainly a good idea to buy in relative bulk.