Earplugs and Suctioning Incidents... Thoughts and Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MSF, Jan 14, 2019.

    1. MSF

      MSF Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music events/drums
      In the last few years I had become a habitual earplug user to counter hyperacusis, using for pretty much anything from vacuuming, public transport, dishes, etc. I only really learned how to insert them properly in the last few months, however, and that is when I also probably began increasing the likelihood of pulling out the wrong way and therefore causing damage from suction.

      Most of the time I have pulled out earplugs find, but two clear "suction" incidents in the last 3 days have alerted me to the potential dangers to my eardrum (and to what may have been causing previous hyperacusis pain)--the first actually involved pushing on my tragus too much to block my ear. When I released it, there was suction and popping, which was completely unexpected and also fairly traumatic. Lesson 1! The second incident was last night at a small but loud concert where the noise was peaking at 100 dB. The earplug in my right, more sensitive ear was in deep, and I found it quite hard to pull out. Once I did, even as gently as I did it, I'm sure there was some suction and that ear definitely feels full and slightly frequency "altered" today. Lesson 2.

      I feel that using earplugs last night was fully justified and I am hopeful that I will recover from last night's minor suction incident as I did from the earlier stronger one, but I consider these as red flags about habitually using earplugs for non-damaging sounds in general. As has been stated elsewhere, frequent use does reduce my stress, but it's not really me "adjust". Moreover, I would rather risk a bit of stress from some loud but brief sounds that probably are harmless in the long run than the truly dangerous eardrum vibrating that can happen during earplug removal, which it seems could easily result in instant damage.

      Going forward, aside from just trying to "deal with it", despite potential ear pain, I'm going to switch to Doc's ProPlugs for truly agitating noise. These are vented and don't cause any suction when being pulled out. Even then I'm going to try to use sparingly.

      Hope this is helpful to others!
       
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    2. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      You're not using the right foam earplugs if you are experiencing suction. Foam earplugs shouldnt get stuck.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MSF

      MSF Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music events/drums
      I have watched numerous "how to" videos on earplugs and also read enough to know that a good fit means that the earplug is literally sealed into your ear canal with no wrinkling around the edges. If proper fitting meant no suction, there would no need for warnings about pulling them out too quickly.

      But feel free to provide any info to the contrary.
       
    4. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MSF

      MSF Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music events/drums
      Interesting, thanks for the suggestion. My right ear does indeed seem to have a smaller canal than the left, and that is actually the ear that the earplug got stuck in the other day and which generally has more H issues. Typically this has not been an issue, but it certainly felt like a cause for alarm after removal created suction and a full-ear feeling.
       
    6. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      My ear canals are not symmetrical either. I think they are about the same diameter, but the right one is straighter and the left one has a bit of an angle that makes insertion a little more difficult, and sometimes takes multiple attempts to seat the earplug fully.
       
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    7. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Suction has to do with the material the earplug is made of. I am not aware of technical details, but I have tried several models and some of them always produce suction, and this is because the kind of foam the earplug is made of gets stuck in the ear canal, it's like it gets glued.

      There are other types of foam earplugs that seal the ear canal but do not produce suction. It is a matter of trial and error to find the brand that best suits you.
       

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