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Doctor insights on: Earache From Ear Plugs

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Sleeping with silicone ear plugs, woke up now with an ear ache. Cause?

Sleeping with silicone ear plugs, woke up now with an ear ache. Cause?

Most likely pressure: Buildup from being "plugged" for a period of time. Or you may have an infection, or fluid buildup behind your eardrum from allergies. Or you may have a nerve inflammation from viral or bacterial infections elsewhere. In other words there are lots of causes and you would need to see a healthcare provider for proper exam and diagnosis if it persists. Thanks for trusting in HealthTap. ...Read more

Dr. M. Jay Petruska
1,074 Doctors shared insights

Ear Ache (Definition)

Pain felt in ear can be result of conditions that affect the ear directly such as ear infections, traumatic injury to ear, impacted ear wax, as well as benign or malignant growths of ear. Pain in ear can be referred from conditions that affect the throat, teeth, or jaw including tonsil/throat infections, dental infections, jaw joint inflammation, benign ...Read more


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My ears feel plugged and muffled and I am now extremely sensitive to sound. Hearing even footsteps hurts like crazy. Is this a normal earache?

My ears feel plugged and muffled and I am now extremely sensitive to sound. Hearing even footsteps hurts like crazy. Is this a normal earache?

No: An earache means your ear actually hurts. Does your ear hurt? Are you more sensitive to internal sounds such as that occurs when chewing or hearing your own footsteps rather than of others? If that is the case and your ear does not hurt, when considering your other symptoms, it sounds like you may have accumulated fluid behind your ear drum, what we call serous otitis media. ...Read more

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What is the best over-the-counter meds I can take for cold plugged sinus plus ear ache?

What is the best over-the-counter meds I can take for cold plugged sinus plus ear ache?

See your pharmacist: Pharmacists know so much more than we may give them credit for. They speak to many customers and get feedback on their otc meds. ...Read more

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Can I fly with fluid in my ear due to allergies? I don't have an ear ache. I can't stand nasal sprays... are there plugs or pills I can use instead?

Can I fly with fluid in my ear due to allergies? I don't have an ear ache. I can't stand nasal sprays... are there plugs or pills I can use instead?

Fly with ear fluid.: Technically you can, but you may be very uncomfortable at altitude with bad earaches, or you may even rupture an eardrum. If you can’t use the nasal sprays, you can try to dry out the ears with an OTC antihistamine, but I’d start it at least one week before you leave. ...Read more

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Sore throat on left side; ear ache too. Ear was "plugged" up. No fever, some fatigue. No muscle stiffness/soreness. Currently uninsured. OTC remedies?

Sore throat on left side; ear ache too. Ear was "plugged" up. No fever, some fatigue. No muscle stiffness/soreness. Currently uninsured. OTC remedies?

OTC meds for URI: Avoid antihistamines like loratadine, zyrtec and Benadryl. Try using pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil. Protect your stomach if you choose Advil by eating or taking antacids. Sudafed and Afrin can help open your nose and ears; use with caution if you have high blood pressure. Ear and throat infections can be serious. Look for a free clinic or low cost community health center if you get worse. ...Read more

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18YO daughter complaining about acute ear pain after cleaning ear with peroxide because it felt plugged. Need to be seen or will this resolve?

18YO daughter complaining about acute ear pain after cleaning ear with peroxide because it felt plugged. Need to be seen or will this resolve?

She should be seen: If the pain continues. If she irrigated her ear, it may be irritated, causing the pain, or some of the wax may be adherent to her ear drum, causing pain. However, she also could have an infection, so it's best to have her examined to be sure. ...Read more

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Are ear plugs safe?

Are ear plugs safe?

Yes: Yes to protect from noise exposure and keep water out on the surface. The standard ear plugs are not safe for diving! ...Read more

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What type of ear plugs are best for sleeping?

What type of ear plugs are best for sleeping?

Personalize: So long as you don't have issues with otitis externa (outer ear infections) any type should be fine. Try the foam ones but, make sure to check them daily to make sure they're intact; you don't want one to break up in your ear canal because you've used it for too long. If those aren't your bag, go for the wax ones. If that fails, see an ENT for customized ear plugs. ...Read more

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General medical #: I usually sleep with foam ear plugs. Can this damage my inner ear?

General medical #: I usually sleep with foam ear plugs. Can this damage my inner ear?

No: No, ear plugs that stay in the external ear cause no damage. Even if it pushes or goes through the ear drum, that would cause middle ear damage. It is unlikely but not impossible to cause inner ear damage but you have to try very hard to do it. ...Read more

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After firing 10 shots on a firing range with ear plugs my right ear feels as if it is blocked. This was my first time & will be my last.

After firing 10 shots on a firing range with ear plugs my right ear feels as if it is blocked. This was my first time & will be my last.

Ear Wax: You may have packed some cerumen into the deeper portion of the ear canal by inserting the plugs. See your doctor to get evaluated, with a possible ear irrigation. ...Read more

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When making custom molded ear plugs and they put the silicone foam in which hardens, can some get stuck inside and lead to muffled/ringing feeling?

When making custom molded ear plugs and they put the silicone foam in which hardens, can some get stuck inside and lead to muffled/ringing feeling?

Unlikely: It would be unlikely but anything is possible. If have experienced worsening in your hearing after the procedure, ask the audiologist to take a look at your ears and this should cost you nothing. ...Read more

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How can you sleep with noisy neighbours? I don't have ear plugs by the way.

How can you sleep with noisy neighbours? I don't have ear plugs by the way.

Sleep: Eat plugs are cheap, and can be found at any hardware store. Another thing you can do is speak with the neighbors directly, or speak with the landlord. In the worst possible case, speak with the police. ...Read more

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Aside from ear plugs and protective headphones, how can I protect my hearing?

Aside from ear plugs and protective headphones, how can I protect my hearing?

Monitor loud noises: Be careful about exposure to loud noises and music. Sometimes viral infections, lyme disease, other collagen vascular diseases however can cause sudden hearing loss. ...Read more

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Can ear plugs be helpful in avoiding ears pain that occurs when plane decends?

Can ear plugs be helpful in avoiding ears pain that occurs when plane decends?

Not certain: The ear pain during flights may actually be middle ear, and ear plugs will not affect that. It's the different barometric pressure's that you receive when you are flying. ...Read more

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Can you use ear-plugs when listening to a loud concert or in a club?

Can you use ear-plugs when listening to a loud concert or in a club?

Excellent idea: It is an excellent idea to use the soft foam type ear plugs that form to the ear canal if you expect to be exposed to loud noises / sounds such as at a concert near the stage or at a club. Prolonged exposure to loud noises could damage the hearing appratus including nerve damage. Permanent ringing in the ears - tinnitus and hearing loss are possible results of such exposure. ...Read more

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Is it safe to wear spongy soft ear plugs every night. My husband snores?

Is it safe to wear spongy soft ear plugs every night. My husband snores?

Yes but: Yes but be aware ear wax can build up over time and be difficult to remove if earplugs are used for months-years. If you start to have ear wax/hearing issues, start using ear wax removal materials to help remove ear way (ie, warm coconut oil or dilute hydrogen peroxide if MD says is ok). ...Read more

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Is it possible to get pseudomonas dermatitis from wearing dirty ear plugs?

Is it possible to get pseudomonas dermatitis from wearing dirty ear plugs?

Yes: Pseudomonas sp. Are bacteria that love warm moist environments and many perfectly healthy people will grow pseudomonas from a culture taken of their ear canals, especially those with hearing aids and using ear plugs. For noise reduction there are many cheap disposable ear plugs. Ear buds as are used as "headphones" can be easily cleaned with an alcohol swab. ...Read more

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Please tell me can ear plugs get wedged in your ears if you sleep on your side?

Please tell me can ear plugs get wedged in your ears if you sleep on your side?

Possibly: If the ear plug is small enough that is possible. Why do you wear ear plugs at time of sleep? That is the more important question. Doing this may eventually cause irritation of the ear canal skin and could lead to external otitis, infection of the skin of the external ear canal. ...Read more

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I get loud ringing in my ears when I wear ear plugs, but only sometimes. What's causing this?

I get loud ringing in my ears when I wear ear plugs, but only sometimes. What's causing this?

Tinnitus: Ringing in ears is a very common symptom. Most often it is a benign though annoying condition. It can also be a symptom of more serious conditions. If you also have vertigo with the tinnitus, then you should see an ENT specialist for advise. ...Read more

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Whenever I use soft silicone ear plugs I hear my heartbeat louder and clearer. Why? Bp is normal. It is as annoying as any other unwanted noise.

Whenever I use soft silicone ear plugs I hear my heartbeat louder and clearer. Why? Bp is normal. It is as annoying as any other unwanted noise.

Heart beat: If you shut out air transmission of background sounds, you will make the heart sounds transmitted thru the denser body tissue stand out. ...Read more

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Could sleeping with ear plugs cause tinnitus?

Could sleeping with ear plugs cause tinnitus?

No: Tinnitus can be caused by a number of disease entities which include hearing loss, head injury, tmd, viral infection, dental infection. It is therefore non-specific and there is evidence that it is the result of synchronous discharge of neurons in the auditory nervous system of the brain. There is no evidence that sleeping with ear plugs would cause tinnitus. ...Read more

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I have a room mate who snores all night long. Ear plugs are hurting my ears. Advice?

I have a room mate who snores all night long. Ear plugs are hurting my ears. Advice?

Sleep apnes: Talk to your roommate about sleep apnea and the need to be evaluated. This is done with a sleep study. You may be saving your roommates life. ...Read more