A snoring partner can make it hard to sleep at night. Some snorers may be as loud as airplanes, which is not a good sign, either for their health or for your ability to sleep at night.

You might think that putting in earplugs is an ideal way to counter the noise of snoring. However, earplugs are not a good solution–they can be dangerous to you, and they leave the problem of snoring unresolved. Instead, a Detroit sleep dentist can help your partner reduce or eliminate snoring.

Inserting Earplugs Can Harm Your Ears

Many people in Detroit use earplugs safely and effectively. However, it’s also possible that you might cause yourself injury by inserting earplugs improperly. Improper earplug insertion can lead to:

  • Dangerous ear pressure
  • Forcing wax and debris into the ear canal
  • Damage to eardrum
  • Earplug stuck in your ear

When you’re inserting earplugs, you can push air rapidly against your eardrum. This can be painful and damaging. You can also create damaging air pressure when you pull out earplugs. Vented earplugs can help equalize pressure, but they don’t necessarily help when you’re inserting earplugs.

If you use earplugs regularly, you should take care to clean your ears properly. Otherwise, you can force earwax and debris into your ear canal. This can block the ear canal, leading to discomfort and temporary hearing loss.

You might suffer permanent hearing loss if you push earplugs in too far, causing them to press up against your eardrum. This is usually only a problem with foam earplugs, which can deform to fit deeply into your ear.

Sometimes people put earplugs in too far and find they can’t get them out. In fact, earplugs are one of the most common objects removed from ears in the emergency department.

Read the instructions below on inserting earplugs to reduce these risks.

Dangers of Long-Term Earplug Wear During Sleep

If you are wearing earplugs every night or most nights, you are putting yourself at risk for even more potential complications, such as:

  • Earwax buildup
  • Ear infections
  • Jaw problems

Our body naturally produces earwax the way our nose produces mucus. It helps keep bacteria out of the ear, but in order to function properly, it has to be able to exit the ear. Earplugs can force earwax back into the ear, causing it to become impacted. Impacted earwax can be painful, and you might need to see a doctor to get it removed.

Earwax buildup can also increase your risk of ear infections. Instead of being pushed out of the ear, bacteria trapped in your earwax stays in your ear, and it can grow. As the earwax gets pushed back into the ear canal, the bacteria may gain access to the interior of your ear, leading to ear infections.

Your jaw and ear are closely related, as you can tell from the numerous ear symptoms related to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). Inserting something in your ear can encourage you to hold your jaw in a certain position. In fact, there are some TMJ treatments that use this mechanism. Inserting something in your ears every night without consulting a Detroit TMJ dentist could aggravate TMJ.

Tips for Using Earplugs More Safely

There are several common types of earplugs, each of which has benefits and drawbacks:

  • Wax earplugs are made of wax that you can shape to fit your ear canal
  • Foam earplugs are easy to compress, then expand to fit your ear canal
  • Silicone earplugs are plastic earplugs designed to fit your ear canal

With all earplugs, insert and remove them slowly to avoid dangerous air pressure.

With wax earplugs, work the wax with your hand until it softens, then insert it gently into your ear. Wax earplugs can soften and break when you try to remove them, so use them carefully.

With foam earplugs, compress the plug between your fingers and insert them about halfway into your ear. Make sure you’re not inserting the plugs too far, and that there is plenty of the plug sticking out to make removal easy.

Silicone earplugs fit best if you get them sized properly to your ear. Insert them carefully into your ears. Don’t try to jam them in further than they are designed to fit.

Clean your ears regularly to avoid wax buildup. If you notice irritation of your ear canals, talk to your doctor. If you experience TMJ symptoms, make an appointment with a Detroit TMJ dentist.

Don’t Neglect Snoring Dangers

However, perhaps the biggest danger of using earplugs at night is that it gives an excuse to skip snoring treatment in Detroit. This is a major health risk for the snorer.

People who snore at night are at increased risk for:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Car accidents
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary artery disease

Snoring is one of the most detectable symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. The louder someone snores, the more likely that they have sleep apnea. So if your partner makes you want to sleep with earplugs, their risk of sleep apnea is very high. Encourage them to talk to a Detroit sleep dentist about getting a home sleep study.

Even without sleep apnea, people who snore aren’t sleeping well. This leaves them tired during the day. They are at an increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, leading to car accidents.

Snoring also causes injuries to your arteries, which leads to scarring and hardened arteries, atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary artery disease, and, eventually, heart failure. Snoring increases this risk.

Snoring Treatment in Detroit

Rather than relying on earplugs to get good sleep, encourage your partner to get an effective, comfortable snoring treatment. The Detroit sleep dentists at the Michigan Head & Neck Institute can help. Please call (586) 573-0438 or email us today to request an appointment at our office in Warren, MI.