The 4 Best Earplugs To Stop Tinnitus Spikes

Different types of earplugs

The world around us is growing louder and affecting our hearing. Luckily, we can turn to earplugs to combat our increasingly noisy environment and prevent or reduce the risk of making your tinnitus louder

Ear plugs not only help prevent hearing damage, but can also be utilized to prevent tinnitus spikes and decreased hearing. But, as with anything, too much of something has the potential to create more issues. Selecting the right earplug is unique to every individual, and at Treble Health, we know the importance of personalized tinnitus treatment, which is why we wrote this article to help you out!

So, please keep reading to find out what four ear plugs are the best for people with tinnitus. We’ll outline them all, from general foam earplugs to custom-made audiologist-backed earplugs!

Learn more about using earplugs with tinnitus.

Do Not Overprotect Your Hearing

It may seem counter-intuitive, but did you know that using earplugs can hinder your progress with tinnitus recovery? Yes, you need to protect your hearing when you are around very loud sounds, and that will also protect your tinnitus from getting louder.

"Treble Health helped me reduce my tinnitus by about 80%, and now I can live my life again!"
"Treble Health helped me reduce my tinnitus by about 80%, and now I can live my life again!"
– Steve D.
Which Treble Health solution is right for you?

There is a mental process called habituation that can set you free from bothersome tinnitus. If you are constantly using earplugs to limit your exposure to outside sound, your brain will have a harder time to reduce tinnitus. For that reason, use earplugs sparingly, and consider downloading a sound level meter app so you know when you are around truly loud sounds that can damage your hearing. Now that you know about the dangers of over protection, let’s discuss for excellent ear plugs that you could use to help manage your tinnitus and reduce your risk of hearing loss.

1. The Foam Earplug

There’s something to be said about the classics. Foam earplugs have been around for decades, and today they come in various colors and designs. But, of course, they still work exactly as they did back then: by blocking out sound waves so that only safe sound levels can enter your ears.

Foam earplugs are the most common type of ear plug on the market and are also one of the cheapest. They’re made of soft foam, so they won’t hurt your ears or cause any damage when you wear them. In addition, they come in various sizes and colors, which means you can find ones that fit your ears and style perfectly.

Believe it or not, simple foam earplugs can offer the highest noise reduction rating (NRR) out of all the earplugs on the market. Their high NRR is why they can be used in tinnitus and hyperacusis management. The tricky thing is that foam earplugs take the most practice inserting to fit snug in your ear canals. But once you perfect inserting them, they’re a good and affordable option for alleviating your tinnitus. 

Foam earplugs can work for most patients, are easy to find, disposable, and inexpensive. In fact, they’re the least expensive option on this list! Another advantage is that they come in smaller child sizes to fit any sized ear canal.

One of the disadvantages of foam earplugs is that they can become uncomfortable if worn for too long. Another disadvantage is that they only restrict high pitch sounds, and generally do a poor job at attenuating the bass.

2. Musician In-Ear Monitors

Think of your favorite live musician– Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, or even Madonna– they all wear musician in-ear-monitors to protect their hearing while on stage. The musician in-ear monitors were designed specifically for performers who need to hear their music while still protecting their hearing from loud noises such as concerts or stage performances. This means that this choice of earplugs is one of the most effective in helping musicians who have tinnitus.

However, unlike the foam earplugs, the musician in-ear monitors will be more expensive than the other earplugs because they are specially designed to fit into your ears and block out background noise. In addition, the earplug’s acoustic seal blocks out the background noise for full protection and sound quality. 

Another issue with the musician in-ear-monitor is that you often have to go through new impressions or remakes to get the best fit. 

3. Custom Hearing Protection

Custom hearing protection is made specifically for your ears by an audiologist, who takes measurements to ensure that the earplug fits just right so that it won’t move around at all during use (which could cause discomfort).

There are many benefits in getting custom hearing protection. The biggest is that they’re made for any situation that life throws at you. Swimming, listening to music, sleeping, and even industrial noises are all some of the situations where custom earplugs can protect their wearers. 

Though custom hearing protection earplugs lean more toward the expensive side, they make up for it with their longevity. Because of their custom fit and make, they’ll last longer than foam or rubber earplugs, and can even last multiple years.

4. Non-Custom Plugs

Finally, another earplug to consider is the non-custom plug, like silicone, instead of foam or custom ones. These will offer you different reusable filters, and they come in various sizing options so you can buy the right size for you. You can also find non-custom plugs that are made specifically for the music industry and industrial settings. They cost more than foam plugs but can be used significantly longer.

Next Step: Take The Tinnitus Quiz

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