How to Remove Earplugs Properly?

Discussion in 'Support' started by TheHonoredOne, Aug 19, 2021.

    1. TheHonoredOne

      TheHonoredOne Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Everytime I use foam earplugs I insert them very deeply. I leave maybe 15% of the plug, so like 3 mm or 4 mm, out of the ear canal so I have something to touch when I take them out. The problem is I always make a ton of noise when I try and remove them.

      If I try and pinch the end to grab them, I hear a loud vibration like WUBUBUBUBU that's very loud. So I have to sort of stick my finger on one side of the exposed earplug and push down and smush it. And then this makes the earplug shift out about 1 mm or so. And then I repeat this process like 20 times until it finally comes out after 5 minutes of loud scraping and shifting.

      I'm not sure what I am doing wrong or how to take them out without getting bombarded with the extremely loud vibrational wububub sound?
    2. Stacken77

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I have experience with this and believe I at one time suffered a permanent increase in my tinnitus due to the sound of removing a foam earplug.

      I used a different brand of foam earplugs before which also had a tannish color. What I found was that the foam material itself just caused excessive noise upon removal, I believe it had a much smoother surface which was not good. When I invested in a pack of 200 pairs of 3M 1100, I found that the foam material was slightly different and didn't create nearly as much noise. So in my experience, there's a huge difference between different types of foam earplugs out there. I can really recommend 3M 1100, but of course, it may differ from ear to ear.

      Another point is to obviously try to remove the plugs very carefully as to minimize the sound.

      All the best,
    3. ALS

      ALS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2021 ; worsened 6/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Years of headphone use (too long and too loud)
      When I go to take mine out, I reach as far into my ear canal as I can, gently, and squish the ends between my fingers, and then very, very slowly pull them out. I hear a quiet rumbling-esque sound as they move across my ear canals.

      If you feel a strong suction, you should stop and try to squish the plugs further. You have to break the seal, so you get less suction.

      I use Mack's NRR 32 plugs (and the more plush 33 ones) and I've never had problems with them.
    4. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I think the problem is the material the earplugs are made of and not your technique removing them.

      There are different kinds of foam earplugs and the worst kind stucks in the ear canal and makes a popping sound when removed.
    5. whatdidyousay

      whatdidyousay Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud volumes
      I must have weird ears because I could never keep foam earplugs in the ears no matter how closely I tried to follow instructions. I've instead just used ER-20 types and slowly twisted them out. One thing people may forget about is to wash those kinds of earplugs regularly. With foam, they're cheap enough to be used once and get rid of them.
    6. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      This used to bother me. Used to get anxious putting (foam) earplugs in, and taking them out, because of the noise (and sometimes the suction), like you described.

      Been doing it for so long now that I don't even notice if my application was careful/noisy or not.

      Totally natural in your first couple of years with tinnitus and hyperacusis to examine your ears level of noise exposure with a fine tooth comb, but I think you'll find over time small details like this begin to matter less.

      As long as your ears aren't being exposed to loud music/engines/power tools etc. you're doing a good job protecting them.

      Don't quit on the ear protection; if you have to, switch to ear defenders (for now) or custom moulds (like @whatdidyousay said).

      Personally, earplugs (foam and custom) and ear defenders are what have kept me alive this long.
      • Agree Agree x 4
    7. AUTHOR

      TheHonoredOne Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thanks for the information. I will try and buy those kinds.
      Thank you for the tips. I will stick my fingers more deeply into the canal to try and get a better grip on them.
      Yeah it happened to me one time and really scared me.
      I just bought the ER-20, I will try and see how it goes.
      Thank you, this reassures me.

      Thank you all for the input and help. I greatly appreciate it.
    8. Vassili

      Vassili Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      You have to do it slowly.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Hey. I'd recommend getting some musicians earplugs if you can and don't have them already. They are moulded to your ears and they prevent you from accidentally pushing the plugs in too deep (and hurting your eardrum). They'll cost a few hundred dollars, but worth it in my opinion. As others have said, try not to rush when inserting or removing your plugs. Also be mindful of cleaning them periodically for non-disposable pairs.

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