From the outset I have to be clear that earplugs for tinnitus sufferers will not cure tinnitus! Although in certain cases, as this article will point out, it may well help.
Noise-related tinnitus is the most common form of tinnitus that affects over 50 million people in the USA alone, and accounts for millions on a world-wide scale.
On the precept that prevention is better than the cure, the wearing of earplugs has become common practice not only in the workplace, but at concerts, disco’s, raves and many other noisy social activities.
So Why Are Earplugs For Tinnitus Sufferers Beneficial
There are several reasons why the wearing of ear-plugs or ear protectors (they come in many forms) would be beneficial for anyone suffering from tinnitus, such as…
Stopping an already present situation from getting any worse.
Tinnitus is not usually a permanent condition, and is frequently ‘kicked off’ by loud or persistent noise above 85bd. Wearing ear protection before being subjected to loud noise is a no-brainer – it just makes common sense.
Overall Tinnitus Prevention.
Thankfully I think it is safe to say that many more people are aware of the dangers of contracting tinnitus, and are much more willing to stop it ever appearing if they possibly can. Often the living testimonies of older work colleagues who have this condition, is enough to make the younger ones reach out for the ear protectors.
Quality of life
If someone already has ringing ears, then there are many things or situations they may have to avoid if they do not want to exacerbate an already bad condition.
Without adequate ear protection they may have to avoid many pleasures inherent in the noisy pursuits listed above.
Thankfully earplugs have not evolved technologically to the extent that even someone who enjoys clay pigeon shooting or hunting, can continue with their sport and not damage their ears with the loud noise associated with this sport.
Noises over 85bds are ‘nuked’ but the normal hearing levels are not affected.
In other words an easy conversation is perfectly audible, whilst loud bangs are blocked out.
Types of ear protectors for tinnitus sufferers
Hush Technology Earplugs are a good example of the new generation of earplugs that are available today. These ‘smart plugs’ are able not only to shut out loud noise, but also introduce soothing ‘white noise’.
By linking an app on your smartphone, you are able to choose from a variety of sounds that are intended to mask the sound of tinnitus and replace it with soothing sounds like the ocean or a mountain stream for instance.
This soothing noise (called white noise) can be a real life-saver to anyone who cannot sleep because of the tinnitus noises in their ears. Again this just improves the quality of life and could be the ideal earplugs for tinnitus sufferers. It also does away with the need for a noise machine to produce ‘white noise’ at your bedside.
Lack of sleep often results in anxiety and irritability – both situations that promote the onset of tinnitus symptoms.
These smart plugs are also able to wake you up in the morning – your own personal ‘wake me up’ call that will not waken your partner.
Changed days indeed when earplugs were solely to block out noise!
These plugs come in a small neat case and have several fittings to ensure a snug fit into the wearers ears.
There are a huge range of earplugs available today particularly aimed at the workplace, music, or sporting industry, a quick search on any of the major online retailers will give you more than enough to contemplate!
Earplugs for swimmers
These plugs may be of special interest regarding this article as swimmer’s ear (Otitis externa) is a particular problem to many tinnitus sufferers. Ringing or noisy ears is often the result of an inner ear infection, which in turn is often caused by water in the ear canals becoming contaminated or infected.
Using ear plugs in the shower (particularly a power-shower) is also recommended to prevent water ingress into the ear canal.
Again, prevention is almost always preferable to the cure – if indeed a cure is available for tinnitus.
Choosing The Best Earplugs for Tinnitus
It should be noted that wearing earplugs will not block out the sounds of tinnitus such as ringing, rushing sounds, or squeeking noises in the ears.
In fact it may well exacerbate or magnify them as other background noises are blocked out. This is of course excluding ‘smart plugs’ that in themselves produce background noise to mask tinnitus.
Wearing ear protectors sometimes create the very quiet environment that the tinnitus sufferer is advised to avoid, as this situation only highlights the noises associated with tinnitus.
So earplugs in general are for prevention rather than cure. At best they may stop intermittent tinnitus from appearing at all. At worst they may increase the sounds of tinnitus.
As with most tinnitus remedies, the answer lies with the individual concerned and earplugs for tinnitus sufferers depends of many different factors including the type of tinnitus that is experienced by the user.
Earplugs For Shooting Range
Looking for the best earplugs for shooting range, swimming, or other potential tinnitus-inducing activities? Check out a selection of hand-picked earplugs and ear protectors available to purchase on Amazon™ here…