There is not just one hearing protection device that will work on its own. Disposable foam ear plugs will still let sound through and at times are placed in the ear wrong. This will lead to injury of the ear drums. If the plugs are placed inside the ear properly then it will greatly reduce the noise that is heard and in turn will greatly reduce the dangers of being subjected to loud noises.
When an earplug is selected for an individual, it should be inserted into the ear by a professional fitter. This is to ensure that the individual can identify how the plug is to feel when it is inserted correctly. It is only done with one earplug. The individual will the practice placing the other side in the ear canal so that they understand how to properly fit the plug into their own ear.
Inserting the Earplug Properly
When a person is using typical earplugs that can be purchased anywhere, there is a specific way to insert them to ensure they proper fit into the ear canal. If the earplugs are specifically made for that person’s ears, then typically they will fit in the correct place no matter how they put them in.
For average earplugs, the proper ways of insertion begins by pulling the outer ear; the pinna, outwards and upwards; pull up and away from the head. The hand that is on that side should be the one to place the earplug in the same side ear. For example; use the right hand to place a plug into the ear canal on the right. The outer part of the ear is pulled up and away from the head with the opposite hand by reaching behind the head. It will allow the hand that is inserting the plug to have the best approach for proper insertion. Some individuals will need to insert the plug in an angle. The typical angle that the ear plug is inserted is forward and then slightly upward.
Testing for Proper Insertion
Once the earplug is properly in place, it is important to make sure that the earplug work correctly. This is done by pressing a firmly cupped hand over the ear while listening to a steady noise. When the ear plug is properly fitted to the ear, the noise level should sound the same as if there is no plug inserted.
Although the cleanliness of the earplug may be a concern, the plugs do not penetrate deep enough to line the plug with ear wax. It reaches the same distance as if they were to clean their ear with a q-tip. It is also recommended to allow a small layer of wax to be on the ear plug. The cerumen (ear wax) is important to seal the plug with in the canal so sound can be further blocked. It also offers lubrication for insertion and extraction of the earplugs.
Earplugs should be worn in environments where sound is constant and loud. If the individual is using foam disposable earplugs, the proper insertion of the plugs are to roll them between the index finger and thumb. Form a cylinder that is crease free. Insert it into the ear and it will expand to form inside the canal.