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 Post subject: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:57 am 
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Has anyone ever had custom earplugs made? I think I may need some.

I've been using foam earplugs for about 3 months now, every night, to help me sleep through my partner's snoring. I used to sleep out on the couch if it got too loud and I couldn't fall back asleep, but now I can usually tolerate it enough to say in bed.

I just did some research, and it looks like long-term use of foam earplugs (or non-custom earplugs) can lead to some problems. Ear inflammation, wax buildup around the drum, headaches, ect.

Does anyone have a recommendation for custom earplugs? I've seen some for $9 on amazon, but then I've seen some for $300 on certain websites. Also, I'm lucky enough to have insurance...is this something a doctor could prescribe or do so that I don't have to pay as much?


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Yikes! I've been using soft foam earplugs every night for about 9 years with no problems. They have to be soft, though, otherwise I wake up and it feels like my ear canal has been stretched open.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:59 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Yikes! I've been using soft foam earplugs every night for about 9 years with no problems. They have to be soft, though, otherwise I wake up and it feels like my ear canal has been stretched open.


I'm having that "stretched open" feeling every night I wear them. I'm using the smallest ones I can find...so I'm not sure what to do! That's why I'm thinking custom might be a good idea.

That's awesome you've never had problems. Makes me feel a little better!


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:14 pm 
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I had to live in the dorms all 4 years of college. I've been wearing foam plugs every night since then, so 13+ years now. I also wear earplugs when I fly. I have never had any health related problems. Of course, that's just anecdotal. But if you feel fine, I wouldn't worry about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Well, I'm not super worried about the wax buildup or anything...that's just another motivation.

The problem is the pain I feel in my ear canals when I take them out. By the time I wake up in the morning...I can feel this "stretching" pain in my ears like there's been too much pressure. They are this "pretty in pink" brand that is supposed to be one of the smallest sizes.

Also, the past few nights, I've had to leave the room AGAIN because I could hear his snoring through the earplugs and couldn't go back to sleep.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Have you ever tried the Hearos Ultimate Soft Earplugs? I have pretty small ears, and I find these the most comfortable of the ones I've tried.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:43 pm 
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Not custom, but I've had these Etymotic plugs for years & won't go back to foam plugs. They might not be what you are looking for, because they make everything sound like the the volume is turned down instead of muffling. Maybe try old school wax plugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:38 pm 
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helbury wrote:
Have you ever tried the Hearos Ultimate Soft Earplugs? I have pretty small ears, and I find these the most comfortable of the ones I've tried.


The ones I use are the same brand...but those ultimate ones do look like they might be a smidgen smaller. I'll see if I can find them at the drugstore!


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:34 pm 
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a friend of mine had custom earplugs made, and he says they are the best thing he's ever bought. i think he spent about $150-200 on them. he says they are so comfortable, and he wears them for long periods of time. he was wearing foam earplugs before. i wish i had a name to give you!


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:55 pm 
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i think a few hundred dollars is typical for custom ear plugs. the plus side is they will be way more comfortable (but you already knew that) and more effective, therefore better for your hearing health if you also use them at concerts/whatnot. although i do now remember that a friend of mine's pair had little tabs for easy removal that stuck out to the side, so maybe that would be a hindrance for sleeping? i know the hearing and speech lab at our university does custom fittings, maybe check out schools near you and ask them some questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:09 pm 
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I had custom ones made once because I was going to a lot of shows and definitely damaging my hearing. They were amazing, but expensive and I was really bummed when I lost them.

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:13 pm 
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You can sleep with earplugs in? I can hardly wear them even when I need them-- I get all freaked out by my own breathing and all the little mouthy noises I make that are all I can hear when they're in...

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:24 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
The problem is the pain I feel in my ear canals when I take them out. By the time I wake up in the morning...I can feel this "stretching" pain in my ears like there's been too much pressure. They are this "pretty in pink" brand that is supposed to be one of the smallest sizes.

Also, the past few nights, I've had to leave the room AGAIN because I could hear his snoring through the earplugs and couldn't go back to sleep.


Do you have small ear canals? I do because in-ear headphones just won't fit in my ear canal.

I use these 3M plugs a lot when I drive on my motorcycle. (cone shape, I get them at "home depot" )

They also give a stretching pain or sensation in my ears after several hours.
I have also had the cylindrical foam kind (no-name brand) which do the same.

The best ones I had came from Walmart, 33 db noise reduction and came in a clear plastic rectangular box of 6 (3 pairs) Those were soft foam with a round tip and a kind of flare at the end.

Perhaps the real solution might be in trying to do something about the snoring, because in my view it kind of points to a breathing problem for your partner?


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:39 pm 
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Veg_Eric wrote:
Perhaps the real solution might be in trying to do something about the snoring, because in my view it kind of points to a breathing problem for your partner?


Yes, he has pretty severe sleep apnea. When we first started dating, I used to stay awake, freaked out that he would go so long between breaths. I've seen him sleeping on the hardwood floors, on his back, watching is chest convulse as his body struggled for air, then after 15 or more seconds, gasping for air. It's terrifying and bad for his health.

I've mentioned he needs to get a sleep study done, but he hasn't gone. I've told him all the studies that link it to heart problems, shortened life span, ect. I think he's afraid they are going to ask him to wear the breathing machine while he sleeps.

It breaks my heart, but until he decides for himself he needs to do something about it...I'll be testing ear plugs!


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Veg_Eric wrote:
The best ones I had came from Walmart, 33 db noise reduction and came in a clear plastic rectangular box of 6 (3 pairs) Those were soft foam with a round tip and a kind of flare at the end.


I think these are the ones I use. Mine are purple. I love them. I now can't sleep without them. They only last about a week before they no longer work and I can hear him snoring.
I do have small ear canals so other ones I've tried hurt me. The pretty in pink ones didn't work at all for me.

The whole...can't use them long bit scares me as I've been using ear plugs for over 2 years. But others have used them longer with no issues so I have hope!

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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:50 am 
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I have been sleeping with ear plugs for about 13 years. The only problem I have had is that stretched ear sensation, which is pretty painful. I find that usually happens when I put the ear plugs in too far, so I pull them out a little once they have expanded a bit.
I don't use anything fancy, but I do find these ear plugs to be the most comfortable I have tried.
http://www.howardleight.com/earplugs/laser-lite


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:46 am 
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Veg_Eric wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
The problem is the pain I feel in my ear canals when I take them out. By the time I wake up in the morning...I can feel this "stretching" pain in my ears like there's been too much pressure. They are this "pretty in pink" brand that is supposed to be one of the smallest sizes.

Also, the past few nights, I've had to leave the room AGAIN because I could hear his snoring through the earplugs and couldn't go back to sleep.


Do you have small ear canals? I do because in-ear headphones just won't fit in my ear canal.

I use these 3M plugs a lot when I drive on my motorcycle. (cone shape, I get them at "home depot" )

They also give a stretching pain or sensation in my ears after several hours.


I use the 3M ones, too. I may or may not work for said company and may or may not have scored a box of 2000 pairs for a dollar at a company sale. They are soft and squishy - very comfortable for sleeping.

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Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: Custom Earplugs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:48 am 
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My husband had custom earplugs made by a doctor when he was still playing live music a lot. He liked them a lot, but since he had them he gets really bad ear blockage from time to time, I am not sure if it's related though. I wear standard earplugs a lot to sleep and haven't ever had the same problem.

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