Warning on the use of ear plugs

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Globalti 28 Feb 2017
at 12:35

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  • Anonymous


    I am a regular user of ear plugs, especially on long haul flights. I have recently started to use a product that is made from a pliable compound that shapes into the ear to provide a more ‘sealed’ protection, therefore reducing sound level, providing a better sleep opportunity. It does work well.

    However on my flight back from HKG, this week, part of the product became detached, when I tried to remove it and ended up sinking deep in the ear canal.

    My GP couldn’t remove it and this evening I need to go to my local Spires hospital to have a minor procedure to remove the offending item.

    I would prefer not to name the product or the retailer at this stage..

    Tom Otley

    I also use ear plugs frequently both because of noisy hotels and on aircraft.

    However after contracting labyrinthitis, which is terribly debilitating (you can’t even stand up you are so dizzy), and also frequently recurs, I was told one of the possible reasons was because of using ear pluigs, so now I only use them when necessary, and try not to achieve a complete “seal”. It makes them less effective, but unscientifically, I hope it will reduce the chance of a recurrence of it.


    Bit worrying Martyn. Can you enlarge on what the material was (rubber, foam etc) – looks like something to avoid.


    I hope all goes well this evening Martyn.

    I never use them on flights but have started to at home and find them very beneficial. My problem is that I get up in the morning and it takes me a few minutes to locate one or both. Usually at the bottom of the bed and thankfully not down my ear canal !!


    Hope all goes well Martyn.

    I don’t use ear plugs apart from the very odd occasion on a turbo prop.

    I purchased good noise cancelling headphones for any long haul flights and this helps but as far as hotel rooms go i always prefer to hear whats going on around me. Even although I’m not a deep sleeper it’s just that feeling and in case of any situation I need to react to I guess.


    Martyn: good luck with the extraction

    The plugs sound like some I’ve bought from Boots to use for swimming. They come in a small box of six and can easily be shaped to the canal by moulding with warm hands while being kept in one piece. They have worked well since and my experience of total deafness (in Bogota) when water became unremovable from below ear wax has not been repeated.


    Hi Peter, yes they ‘appear’ to be the ones.

    I would prefer not to comment about the likely cause until I have seen the Consultant tonight.


    Horrible, hope you’re ok MartynSinclair. Daughter uses them a lot when travelling with me – my snoring doesn’t help the fact that she needs them.
    On a similar subject.
    Anyone got a good recommendation for in-ear headphones? I prefer those to ear plugs for flying.
    I have a good set of Philips ones with a noise reducing switch half way down the cable. I like them but they are almost done and looking for new ones is impossible/confusing. What should I pay? 100? 150? Make? Everyone likes different I know, but the noise reducing/cancelling function on my current ancient ones is great.


    Ear plugs are a saviour at many of the towns I stay in South America. There is an Unwritten rule in mining towns that at least 4 dogs must be barking and one car alarm sounding all night outside all hotels 🙂

    Good luck with the Ear Mining :/


    Straight from the Consultants mouth..

    First time in 30 years he had seen silicon so close to the ear drum. The likely cause could have been combining 2 different pieces of the silicon or more likely, inserting small amounts and just pushing too far in… He said the product was good and he has used similar in his past time of shooting..

    A couple of points he mentioned to help me in the future..

    1. Always insert large amounts rather than small amounts. That way there is little chance of a small amount breaking away

    2. A better product to use to soften noise and to water proof the ear is good old bostick blue-tak. Again, use larger chunks and mold to the ear in one piece.

    3. The top end (the bose of ear plugs) is to have your own molded to your ear, plugs. These can run from anything from £70 to £150… I have just Googled the subject and entered into a brave new world of silence!!

    Thanks for your good wishes… all has ended well and I have been educated at the same time..


    I looked into all of this when we had new neighbours who moved in with three barking, whining dogs and a very large sound system.

    An audiologist will make you custom earplugs from the clear pinksh plastic that was used when hearing aids were very big. They can also use a softer silicon rubber; the problem with both is that they are too bulky and hard if you lie on one side. The best system I found was the wax plugs, which you warm up to soften before inserting. I sometimes wish I could switch off my ears.

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