Can You Use Ear Plugs for Swimming?

Swimmer's ear? We can help. Learn whether ear plugs might help

Can You Use Ear Plugs for Swimming?

Ear plugs have a myriad of uses, but when most people think about using them, it’s for the sake of cutting back sound. However, ear plugs can be used for much more than getting a good night’s rest or toning down the volume at a loud event.

If swimmer’s ear is a frequent happening for you, ear plugs may be a great solution. Like with most things, there is no perfect set of ear plugs that will work well for everybody, especially when it comes to blocking out water while swimming. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a perfect fit when shopping for ear plugs for swimming.

Here’s everything you need to know when it comes it earplugs and swimming, from the ideal material type to the perfect size and fit you should be looking for.

The Best Material Earplug for Swimming

While foam ear plugs may be the most popular kind of ear plug for sleeping and reducing loud sounds, they aren’t ideal for swimming. Instead, silicone and wax ear plugs are the materials you should be looking for when purchasing ear plugs for swimming.

Silicone ear plugs are the most resilient type of earplug, and for this reason, one of the most effective types of ear plugs for swimming. These ear plugs are able to comfortably fit into ears and stay in play while swimming. The only real con? They can be more expensive than other types of ear plugs. However, they also last much longer, so as long as you don’t lose them, the higher price tag should cover itself after a few uses.

Wax ear plugs are another alternative when it comes to ear plugs for swimming. These ear plugs provide a water-tight fit in the ear, helping to prevent swimmer’s ear. Wax ear plugs usually come in multipacks and will need to be disposed of after a couple wears. The one major downside of wax ear plugs is that they can be difficult to find if they fall into the pool while swimming. Fortunately, because they are priced more affordably than silicone ear plugs, it’s simple enough to carry a backup pair on you every time you go swimming.

The Best Ear Plug Shape for Swimming

Ear plugs come in a variety of shapes, including flanged, ergonomic, and moldable. When it comes to swimming, flanged ear plugs are a great place to start for new swimmers, as they provide an airtight seal and are more affordable than custom-made ear plugs.

Moldable ear plugs are also great for swimming, so long as the material is waterproof. In this case, while foam ear plugs are moldable, they won’t be effective because of their porous consistency. However, wax ear plugs are extremely moldable, and they work wonders in keeping water out of the ear canal.

Why You Should Use Ear Plugs While Swimming

Swimmer’s ear isn’t just a pain, it can become a major problem if not treated properly. Swimmer’s ear is caused by water becoming trapped in the ear canal, leading to bacterial growth that makes the canal inflamed and swollen. By using ear plugs while swimming, swimmers lower the chance of any water entering the ear canal.

A common misconception with swimmer’s ear is that it is caused by the dirtiness of the water. However, swimmer’s ear can just as easily be caused by clean water. The real culprit of this ear problem is simply the fact that water gets trapped in the ear canal and cannot easily exit it.

Because children have narrow ear canals, they are more likely to get swimmer’s ear. However, adults are susceptible to it as well, so no matter what age you are, investing in a pair of ear plugs for swimming is a smart idea.

Noise-Canceling Ear Plugs vs Swimming Ear Plugs

While some noise-canceling ear plugs can also be used to keep water out of the ears while swimming, it’s important to note that not all noise-canceling ear plugs have this feature. Similarly, not all ear plugs made for swimming will be as effective as noise-canceling ear plugs when trying to reduce sound.

When shopping for swimming ear plugs, look for brands that highlight a watertight seal for swimming. If water is able to creep into the ear canal, even in smaller amounts, then the ear plugs that you’re using to swim with are ineffective at preventing swimmer’s ear.

Resources— Very Well Health, Pro Swimwear, Swim Outlet