Do Swimmers Wear Earplugs?

Don’t you just hate getting water in your ears? Aside from the fact that it can temporarily make it hard to hear, it just plain feels uncomfortable and can lead to a nasty infection if it doesn’t try fast enough. To prevent this, you can wear swimming earplugs. You might be wondering, do swimmers really wear this?

Yes, many swimmers wear earplugs. Since they frequently swim, they are highly susceptible to getting swimmer’s ear and must find ways to keep their ears dry. Swimming earplugs keep water from entering their ear canal, and can even be worn under a swim cap to ensure water stays out.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of wearing earplugs during swimming, the different types of earplugs available, and how to choose the right pair for your swimming adventures.

Why Swimmers Wear Earplugs

Preventing Ear Infections

When you swim, water can get trapped in your ears, creating a damp environment that’s perfect for bacteria to flourish. This can lead to a painful condition called swimmer’s ear, which is a type of ear infection often experienced by swimmers.

Wearing earplugs during swimming is an effective way to keep water out of your ears and prevent these infections. Your ears will thank you for it, and you can focus on enjoying your time in the water.

It’s not just about swimmer’s ear – earplugs can also help keep your ears clean and free from germs as you swim. By preventing foreign substances and bacteria from entering your ears, you’re less likely to develop other types of ear infections or complications.

Protecting Hearing Ability

Swimming regularly or spending a lot of time in the water can potentially affect your hearing over time. The constant exposure to water can cause your ear canal to become softened, which in turn can make your ears more susceptible to damage or hearing loss. Wearing earplugs is a simple way to add an extra layer of protection for your ears while you swim.

Additionally, some pools or swimming locations may have loud ambient noise, such as waterfalls, splashing, or other swimmers. Wearing earplugs while swimming can help reduce this noise, making the experience more comfortable and less likely to cause hearing damage.

Types of Earplugs for Swimmers

There are various types of earplugs available, so you can find one that best suits your needs and preferences. Some swimmers opt for reusable silicone or custom made options, while others might prefer custom-molded options for the most comfortable and secure fit.

Waterproof Earplugs

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To be clear, if you want to wear earplugs while swimming, you should specifically use swimming earplugs. Do not wear the foam noise-suppressing earplugs that you may be accustomed to. There are many advantages that waterproof earplugs have over foam earplugs.

Silicone earplugs offer a longer-lasting and more comfortable alternative to foam earplugs. These plugs are made from a silicone material that can resist the effects of chlorine and will not get ruined when it touches water.

Furthermore, this type of earplug does an excellent job at keeping water out, and it is easy to clean and reuse. Though silicone earplugs come with a higher price tag than foam, they are the correct choice. Do not wear foam earplugs while swimming!

Moldable Silicone Putty

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Moldable putty is made with a soft and pliable material, such as silicone or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). They can be molded and shaped to fit into the unique contours of your ear canal.

To do this, simply warm the earplugs in your hands to soften it, making them pliable. Afterwards, you can simply insert them into your ear canal and they will conform to the shape of it, forming a tight seal and preventing water from entering your ears.

Custom Made Plugs

For those who prioritize comfort and optimal protection, custom made plugs are the way to go. These earplugs are designed specifically for your ears, ensuring the perfect fit and maximum water resistance.

A healthcare professional will assist you in getting the right plugs for your needs, crafted from high-quality materials. Although custom-made plugs have the highest cost, their reusability, washability, and tailored fit make them a worthwhile investment for frequent swimmers.

Ear Protection Alternatives

Your ears are just as important to protect while swimming as any other part of your body. If you’re not a fan of earplugs or looking for additional ear protection methods, there are alternatives such as swimming caps and neoprene headbands.

Swimming Caps

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Though it is not their intended purpose, swimming caps can keep some of the water from entering your ears. In fact, some swimming caps have built-in ear pockets or chin straps, which can help provide extra ear protection by covering your ears and forming a watertight seal.

When choosing a swim cap, consider one with ear pockets or a chin strap for better coverage. Keep in mind that caps alone may not always prevent water from entering your ears, so using them alongside other measures like earplugs is often a good idea for comprehensive protection.

Neoprene Headbands

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Neoprene headbands are another alternative to protect your ears while swimming. These soft, stretchy, and comfortable headbands fit snugly around your head covering your ears, creating a barrier against water and cold wind. They can also help in reducing the risk of swimmer’s ear and ear infections as they keep your ears warm and dry.

While neoprene headbands are great for cold water or open water swimming, they might not always keep water out completely. Consider using them in conjunction with other ear protection methods, such as earplugs, for maximum effectiveness.

Ear Care for Swimmers

Drying Ears Properly

After swimming, it’s crucial to dry your ears to prevent swimmer’s ear and other infections. It’s very easy to do so.

  • Tilt your head to each side to let any trapped water flow out of your ear canal.
  • Gently dry your outer ears with a clean towel, being careful not to push the towel too far into the ear canal.
  • You can also use a blow dryer on its lowest heat setting to dry your ears, making sure to hold it at least 12 inches away from your head.
  • Alternatively, you can use ear drying drops which will evaporate the water in your ears. If you have sensitive ears or you feel a burning sensation, stop using it.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Keeping your ears clean is essential for maintaining proper ear health, especially when swimming in open water. However, avoid using soap directly inside your ear canal, as this might cause irritation or blockage. Instead, clean the outer area of your ear with a damp cloth or baby wipe.

Even when showering, consider wearing reusable earplugs to prevent water and soap from entering your ear canal. This helps minimize the risk of irritation and infection.

Remember to always be gentle with your ears, avoid using objects like cotton swabs to clean inside the ear canal, as you can perforate your eardrums or push earwax further in, resulting in blockage. By following these ear care tips, you can enjoy swimming worry-free and maintain your overall ear health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do professional swimmers use ear protection?

Yes, many professional swimmers use ear protection to prevent issues like swimmer’s ear and to keep water out of their ears while swimming. Wearing earplugs designed specifically for swimming can be a game-changer, especially if you are prone to earaches or infections. Silicone putty earplugs have been found to be particularly effective for swimmers.

Are earplugs common among Olympic swimmers?

While it’s not universally common, some Olympic swimmers do wear earplugs while training or competing. Ear protection can help reduce the risk of ear infections and offer better focus during races by blocking out distractions.

What type of earplugs are recommended for swimmers with perforated eardrums?

If you have a perforated eardrum, you should stop swimming until it heals. However, since you still need to shower, you can still wear swimming earplugs to keep water out of your ears so as not to disrupt the healing process.

Are silicone earplugs good for swimming?

Yes, silicone earplugs are an excellent choice for swimming. They are waterproof, come in a moldable version, and can be easily shaped to fit your ears perfectly. Moreover, silicone earplugs are reusable and can be easily cleaned, making them a popular choice among swimmers.

What are some suitable earplugs for kids who swim?

For kids, it’s essential to find comfortable and easy-to-use earplugs. Look for soft, moldable, and non-toxic earplugs designed specifically for children.

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Last update on 2024-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API