Swimming Earplugs
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why wear Swimming Earplugs?

Wearing swimming earplugs is a preventative measure that can enhance the swimming experience by providing protection for the ears. Water entering the ear canals might cause discomfort and potentially lead to various ear problems. Here's why wearing swimming earplugs can be beneficial:

  • Preventing Swimmer's Ear: This common infection, also known as otitis externa, occurs when water gets trapped in the ear, creating a moist environment where bacteria can grow. Earplugs can help prevent this condition by keeping the ears dry.
  • Protection for Ear Tubes or Pre-existing Conditions: Individuals who have ear tubes or pre-existing ear conditions may need to keep their ears dry to avoid complications. Swimming earplugs provide a barrier to prevent water entry.
  • Comfort and Focus: Keeping water out of the ears helps to avoid the sensation of water-logged ears and can enhance comfort while swimming. This may allow swimmers to focus more on their technique and enjoyment of the water.
  • Preventing Surfer's Ear: In cold water conditions, earplugs can help in preventing surfer's ear, a condition where abnormal bone growth occurs in the ear canal due to repeated exposure to cold wind and water.
  • Reduction of Noise: In some cases, swimming earplugs might be used to reduce noise distraction during swimming, allowing better concentration and focus on performance, particularly for competitive swimmers.


By wearing swimming earplugs, you can enjoy your time in the water with peace of mind, knowing that you are taking care of your ear health.

Are Swimming Earplugs safe?

Swimming earplugs are generally considered safe for use, especially when properly selected, fitted, and maintained. They are designed to keep water out of the ears while swimming or engaging in other water activities, thus preventing possible infections or discomfort. Made from soft materials like silicone or specially moulded rubber, they are usually gentle on the ears and create a secure yet comfortable seal.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind for safe usage:

  • Proper Fit: Choosing the right size and type that fit the ear comfortably ensures that the earplugs won't cause pressure or irritation. Custom-fitted earplugs can be an option for optimal comfort.
  • Cleanliness: Keeping the earplugs clean and dry when not in use helps prevent the growth of bacteria or mould that might lead to ear infections.
  • Avoid Overuse: Continuous and prolonged usage without breaks might lead to ear irritation or other issues, so following the guidelines provided with the earplugs is advised.
  • Consult a Professional: For individuals with specific ear conditions or concerns, it might be wise to consult with a healthcare professional or audiologist to select the most suitable earplugs.


When used correctly, swimming earplugs can be a safe and beneficial tool for water enthusiasts of all ages.

Which type of Earplugs are best for swimming?

Selecting the best earplugs for swimming depends on individual preferences, needs, and comfort. Different materials and designs cater to various needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are some common types of swimming earplugs, each with its characteristics:

  • Silicone Earplugs: Moldable silicone earplugs are popular for swimming as they can be shaped to fit precisely into the ear canal, providing a custom and snug fit. They effectively seal out water and are ideal for swimmers with different ear canal shapes.
  • Flanged Earplugs: Often made of silicone, rubber, or plastic, flanged earplugs have multiple rings or flanges that create a seal against water entry. These are reusable and can be a good option for those looking for a more durable solution.
  • Custom-Fitted Earplugs: For those seeking a perfect fit, custom-fitted earplugs can be made by an audiologist to match the unique shape of the individual's ear. Though more expensive, they provide an excellent seal and are highly comfortable for regular swimmers.
What is swimmers ear?

Swimmer's ear, also known as "otitis externa", is an infection or inflammation of the outer ear canal. This condition is commonly caused by water that remains trapped in the ear after swimming, creating a moist environment that promotes bacterial growth. When the protective layer of earwax is washed away or disrupted, the ear becomes more vulnerable to infections. Factors contributing to swimmer's ear include swimming in polluted water, aggressive cleaning of the ear canal, or inserting foreign objects into the ear.

Common symptoms of swimmer's ear include:

  • Redness and swelling of the outer ear
  • Itching inside the ear
  • Pain when touching or pulling on the ear
  • Fluid or pus drainage
  • Muffled hearing or hearing loss


It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you have swimmer's ear, as they can provide appropriate treatments, such as antibiotic ear drops, to address the infection.

How do you prevent swimmers ear?

Preventing swimmer's ear, or otitis externa, is essential to maintain good ear health, especially if you frequently engage in water activities. By taking proactive measures, you can reduce the risk of developing this painful condition. The primary goal is to keep your ears dry and maintain the natural protective barrier of earwax, which guards against infections.

Here are some effective strategies to prevent swimmer's ear:

  • Dry your ears thoroughly: After swimming or bathing, gently dry the outer ear with a soft towel. Tilt your head to each side to allow any trapped water to escape.
  • Use ear drops: Over-the-counter ear drops made of a mixture of alcohol and white vinegar can help dry out the ears and maintain an acidic environment that's hostile to bacteria. However, don't use these if you have a perforated eardrum or tubes in your ears.
  • Avoid using cotton buds: Inserting cotton buds or other objects into your ear can push earwax deeper and scratch the delicate skin, making it more susceptible to infection.
  • Wear earplugs or a swimming cap: When swimming, using silicone or rubber earplugs can help keep water out of your ears. A swimming cap that covers your ears offers additional protection.
  • Choose clean swimming areas: Avoid swimming in areas with high levels of pollution or bacteria, as these can increase the risk of infection.


By following these preventative steps, you can enjoy water activities while reducing the likelihood of developing swimmer's ear.

Why are silicone earplugs used for people with ear grommets?

Individuals with ear grommets need to take precautions to prevent water from entering their middle ear, especially during activities such as swimming or bathing. Water entering the middle ear through the grommet can introduce bacteria and potentially cause an infection. To address this concern, silicone earplugs are often recommended for those with grommets. These earplugs are specifically designed to create a watertight seal in the outer ear canal, effectively preventing water from reaching the eardrum and the grommet.

The advantages of using silicone earplugs include:

  • Waterproofing: Silicone earplugs are impermeable to water, ensuring the middle ear remains dry during water-based activities.
  • Customisable Fit: Unlike other types of earplugs, silicone variants can be moulded to fit the unique shape of an individual's ear, ensuring a snug and effective seal.
  • Reusable: They can be used multiple times, making them cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Comfort: Silicone earplugs are soft and pliable, providing a comfortable fit, which is particularly useful for extended use or during sleep.


While silicone earplugs offer many benefits for those with grommets, it's essential to ensure they are cleaned regularly to avoid bacterial build-up. Additionally, users should always consult with their healthcare provider or audiologist to ensure they are using earplugs correctly and safely.