If you are unhappy with your partner’s snoring, you might wish for a way to block out the sounds. Some might try taping the snorer’s mouth shut. This isn’t the best idea. Earplugs also might seem like a great solution: they’re inexpensive and they can be effective against all but the loudest snoring.

However, earplugs to block out snoring may not be the ideal choice. That’s because they come with serious risk potential. And the more often and the longer you wear them, the greater the risks.

Closeup of a man ear with a plug in it

Dangers of Inserting Earplugs

Although earplugs are designed to be safe, there are some risks that can occur when you put them in. Inserting earplugs too fast and too hard can cause air pressure against the eardrum. You can also cause suction against the eardrum when you withdraw the earplugs.

More serious is if pushing the earplug forces earwax or debris into the ear canal. This can be uncomfortable and may interfere with your hearing.

And if you insert earplugs too far, you may not be able to get them out. Removing them may require the help of a doctor, sometimes even a specialist like an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor.

Is Sleeping with Earplugs Harmful?

Wearing your earplugs for snoring overnight is potentially risky. One of the more common risks is the buildup of earwax in the outer ear. Our body naturally produces earwax to perform functions similar to nasal mucus, including trapping bacteria. When the earwax can’t flow naturally out of the ear, it can build up and become impacted. Impacted earwax can be painful, may cause infection, and may need to be removed by a doctor.

Wearing earplugs to block out snoring and in general can also increase your risk of ear infections. They trap earwax and bacteria in your ear while creating an environment that favors bacterial growth. Poorly fitting earplugs can also scratch your ear, which gives bacteria an entrance to infect your ear.

Earplugs can also be uncomfortable for long-term wear and may irritate your jaw joint as well as your ear.

If you are going to wear earplugs all night, custom earplugs are recommended.

Don’t Forget the Risks of Snoring

And, of course, wearing earplugs to sleep leaves snoring untreated. The risks of untreated snoring are serious, including:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Car accidents
  • Sleep apnea

And there’s still a risk of domestic violence associated with snoring. You may sleep peacefully thanks to your earplugs, but the snorer isn’t, which can make them irritable and violent. On the other hand, one wife turned her husband’s snoring into music.

The best way to deal with a snoring partner is to get their snoring treated. If you are looking for effective snoring treatment in Omaha, please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.