How to Use Earplugs? (Ways and Guides)
Earplugs serve multiple purposes, such as aiding sleep, swimming, and mitigating loud environments. With a vast range of earplugs available in the market, it can be challenging to determine the appropriate insertion technique. The method of insertion varies based on the type of earplug used. Typically, the earplug is inserted into the ear canal to obstruct or dampen sound. Most plugs should fit snugly in the channel, with a small portion protruding for easy removal. Earplugs can be disposable and manufactured from soft foam or wax or reusable plugs crafted from silicone, plastic, or rubber.
I. Using Soft Foam Earplugs
When buying earplugs, opt for easy-to-handle ones and test them between your fingers beforehand. Since soft foam earplugs are non-reusable, it is recommended to purchase them in bulk. Look for thin plugs with a rounded edge to facilitate easy insertion into the ear.
Step 1: Wash your hands
Before you attempt to handle earplugs, make sure to wash your hands. You do not want to expose your ears to dirt and germs. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water before using earplugs.
Step2: Roll the earplug between your thumb and index finger
To facilitate easy insertion, roll the earplug into a snake-like shape, reducing its size. Upon insertion into the ear, the foam will expand and block sound. In the case of a thick earplug, thin it out lengthwise by rolling it between your hands, avoiding ball-like shapes.
Step 3: Pull your ear up and back
Gently lift and pull your ear up and back with one hand while holding the earplug with the other. This opens the ear canal and makes insertion easier. Avoid drawing too hard. Use a mirror for better visibility during the process.
Step 5: To correctly insert the earplug
Take your time and proceed slowly and gently. Carefully place the plug into your ear canal, ensuring not to force it too far inside. Your ear canal should expand slightly to accommodate the pin, which should slide in easily. While most foam bodies should be inside the ear canal, ensure enough of the nail remains outside the channel to grip it with your fingertips effortlessly.
Step 6: hold it in place for 20 to 30 seconds.
To ensure the proper functioning of the earplug, hold it in place with your fingertips for 20 to 30 seconds. This will allow the foam to expand, effectively blocking external sounds from entering your ear canal. While holding the plug, slowly count to 20 or 30. To test if the pin is working, try speaking and listening to the sound of your voice. You should notice a muffled effect in your speech and the sound around you. Although the plug may not wholly silence the surroundings, it should significantly reduce noise. If the pin is not working as expected, you may want to experiment with different types or sizes of plugs. Ensure that most of the foam body is inside your ear canal for optimal results. Sometimes, you may need to try again if the foam is not sealing the sound out properly.
II. Using Pre-molded Reusable Ear Plugs
Step 1: Choose the right size
If you frequently use earplugs, purchasing ones that fit correctly is essential. Reusable earplugs made of silicone, plastic, or rubber are cost-effective, but cleaning them after each use is crucial. Remember that reusable plastic earplugs may be marketed as “one size fits all,” but some come in small to large sizes. The first size may not fit everyone, so you might want to experiment with a few sizes before finding your perfect fit. Make sure you purchase several packs in different sizes to find the most comfortable and effective option.
Step 2: Read the instructions carefully before inserting a reusable earplug.
Depending on the shape of the earplug, the insertion process can differ, so make sure you understand the instructions. Even though the general method for inserting reusable plugs is similar, reviewing the instructions for any special considerations may be helpful.
Step 3: Pull your ear up and back
To straighten your ear canal for easier insertion of earplugs, use one hand to reach over your head and grab the top of your ear. Then, gently pull up and back to lift your ear and open the canal. This will allow for easier earplug insertion by creating more space in the ear canal.
Step 4: Using a rocking motion
After expanding your ear canal, use a gentle rocking motion to insert the earplug. Slowly push the plug into the channel by rocking it back and forth until you’ve achieved a complete seal. Continue rocking until the pin is comfortably placed and entirely blocks off the ear canal.
III. Using Moldable Wax and Silicone Earplugs
Step 1: Remove any cotton wrapping
Before using wax earplugs, removing the cotton wrapping surrounding them is essential. To do this, use your fingers to peel the cotton away from the tiny ball of wax. With one hand, roll the ball between your thumb and index finger while using the other hand to pull out the cotton as you move. Repeat this process until all the cotton has been completely removed from the ball of wax, leaving you with a clean and ready-to-use earplug.
Step 2: Soften the wax
To make the wax ball pliable and easy to mold, it’s vital to soften it first. One effective way to do this is to enclose the ball in your fist for approximately 40 seconds. As you hold it in your hand, the warmth of your body will begin to soften the wax, making it feel soft and sticky to the touch. This will make shaping and inserting your ear canal easier for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
Step 3: Shape the ball into a cone
To shape the wax into a cone, hold the ball between your thumb and forefinger and use your other hand to pinch the top. While continuing to lift, rotate the ball with your other hand. With this technique, the wax should begin to take on a rounded cone shape, making it easier to insert into your ear canal. Avoid discomfort by making sure the cone is smooth and has no rough edges.
Step 4: Pull your hair out of your face/ears
To prevent your hair from sticking to sticky earplugs, keep it out of your face or ears when using the plugs. Make sure your hair is away from your ears and face. Tie back your long hair before inserting the earplugs to avoid getting them tangled. Your earplugs will be more comfortable and practical with this.
Step 5: Insert and seal the ear plug
To effectively use the ear plug, insert it into your ear canal until it fully seals it off. Most of the plug should be inside your ear canal, leaving a small end sticking out. Rub the end of the pin to help spread it over the opening of your ear canal, forming a tight seal that effectively muffles outside sounds. This will ensure that you get the full benefits of using an earplug.
It is essential to choose the right earplug type, whether a wax, silicone, or foam earplug. Roll them into a snake-like shape for soft foam earplugs before inserting them. For reusable earplugs, choose ones that fit your ears. Before inserting earplugs, wash your hands and gently pull your ear up and back to create space. Hold the earplug in place for 20-30 seconds to allow it to expand and block external noise. Check whether the earplug is effective for speaking or listening. Try different types or sizes of earplugs if the earplug is not working as expected.