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Everything you need to know about swimming earplugs

Everything you need to know about swimming earplugs

If you swim regularly, you may have heard of or seen swimming earplugs. This quick guide will run you through everything you need to know about swimming earplugs.

What are swimming earplugs?

Firstly, what are swimming earplugs? These specific type of ear plugs are designed to keep water out of your ears. In particular, it stops water from entering the ear canal and middle ear system. If water gets trapped in your ear canal, it can cause an ear infection commonly known as “swimmer’s ear” (or “otitis externa”). Outside of infections, it can also cause a tickling sensation in your ears, jaw or throat, and muffled hearing (almost as if you’re still underwater).

Are swimming ear plugs safe?

Swimming earplugs are safe to use, but only if they’re fitted properly. We recommend getting custom-made swimming earplugs to ensure it will fit your ears perfectly and keep as much water out as possible. These earplugs are great for swimming and surfing, but we would avoid using them while diving. For scuba/free diving, we recommend finding earplugs designed specifically for equalising.

Should I wear earplugs while swimming?

Some lucky swimmers can go their entire lives without any ear irritations or infections. Others could swim once a year and need to see a doctor. At earLAB, we believe prevention is better than treatment.

In addition to preventing swimmers ear, earplugs can also:

  • Prevent pain from water pressure
  • Block out loud noises including shouting and splashing
  • Improve comfort while swimming, especially by those who are bothered by water in their ears
  • Help kids swim for longer without complaining

Can I use foam earplugs for swimming?

We recommend against using foam earplugs for swimming. Foam earplugs do not keep water out of your ears, which defeats the purpose of wearing earplugs in the water. They can block out sound, but you’re better off using silicone which blocks out both sound and water.

Do swimming ear plugs block sound?

Swimming ear plugs do block out sound, but you should still be able to hear your surroundings. The noises around you will be softer and muffled, but will vary in the degree of noise blocking depending on the product.

How to insert ear plugs for swimming

The method to insert your swimming ear plugs depends entirely on the brand you have purchased. If you’re using a silicone earplug, it should be able to easily slide into your ear. Do not force the earplug as deep as it will go, as you may cause damage to your ears or make it impossible to remove. If you’ve purchased a custom earplug, it should fit perfectly in your ear. It’s easiest and most effective to put the earplugs in before you enter the water.

When removing the earplugs, take them out slowly and carefully to avoid damage to your eardrum. 

How to clean swimming ear plugs

Silicone swimming earplugs can be cleaned using soap and warm water. Clean gently and thoroughly to remove any residue. You can then leave them to air dry, or use a clean cloth to dry them quickly. 

We recommend cleaning your earplugs after each swim to prevent bacteria and ensure you can continue using them for years to come.

Can you swim with an ear infection with ear plugs?

Even though swimming earplugs will keep water out of your ears, we do not recommend using them with an ear infection. If you currently have an ear infection, you should speak to a doctor about how soon you can re-enter the water.

Where can I buy swimming earplugs?

You can buy custom swimming earplugs through our online store. We are partnered with ACS which is the leading earplug provider in the UK, and are rated 4.8 stars with over 2,000 reviews. Our Pro-Aquaz earplugs are custom fitted for your ears, and provide maximum protection and comfort. Unlike other earplugs, our swimming earplugs retain maximum hearing ability. The Pro-Aquaz are also light enough to float on top of the water, and are available in a variety of colours to ensure you never lose them. Contact our helpful team for more information.