Every adult needs eight hours of good quality sleep per night to be at their best. However, there are few things more disruptive to sleep than noise. The same holds true for most people when it comes to working: distracting noise can make it impossible to get things done quickly and accurately. One solution for both issues is earplugs and millions of people use them. However, there can be issues with earplugs.

Impacted Earwax

We all have earwax that naturally drains out, usually when we are asleep. However, earplugs not only act as a barrier to sound; they also prevent the wax from properly flowing out. Earplugs can also cause the wax to become impacted, which blocks your ability to hear. You may need to see a doctor to have the wax removed.

Ear Infections

Another possible side effect of impacted wax is an ear infection. This can also occur because of bacteria, which can grow on foam earplugs. Ear infections usually resolve on their own after a couple of weeks, but they can be quite uncomfortable.

They Can Get Stuck

If you push the earplug too far in, you may not be able to take it out.

Compromised Hearing

Yes, the idea is to block out noise so you can get a good night’s sleep. However, if your hearing is compromised too much, you won’t hear things you really should, such as a fire alarm or other warning system.

Hearing Loss

If you’re in a hurry in the morning, you might be yanking the plugs out of your ear. This may not seem like an issue, but if you do it enough over time, you are actually creating hearing loss. Try to remove the earplugs as slowly as possible. If you find them getting stuck, use a twisting motion as this can cause them to release more easily.