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I'd like to quote a comment on the other (very short) op on ear plugs: "I figure there isn't a lot you can say about earplugs!"
Wrong! Never despise or deride the small things. One of the best minds in Italy, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Florence, sees earplugs among the greatest inventions of humankind. So there!
What can these inconspicuous thingies achieve?
- Save money
Imagine a couple with one snoring partner. At home they've got separate bedrooms in order not to endanger the other partner's well-being and happiness. What when they go on holiday? They need two single rooms which combined cost more than a double room (and - as every traveller knows - are invariably situated beside the lift or the toilets or face the backyard or all things together).
- Save marriages
What do people do who can't afford two separate bedrooms? If both snore and sleep soundly, no probs, but if only one partner does so, it's hell for the other. If the non-snoring partner has to get up early, he or she will eventually take his or her bedding to the living-room and sleep on the sofa or lie down on a sleeping mattress on the kitchen floor. Even though he or she knows that the partner doesn't snore on purpose, thoughts of divorce might creep up.
- Save holidays
Imagine going on holiday with a travel organisation which takes its clients to hotels on the main street of a resort. How much fun is it to lie wide awake in bed counting the passing cars and listening to pissed tourists singing along?
- Save lives
I stopped taking the night trains from Germany to Italy and vice versa, the ones in which six people can sleep on berths in one compartment, after a journey from Venice to Munich during which a man in the neighbouring (!) compartment snored so loud that the wall was shaking. The passengers who were with him must have been angels or deaf or his c
lose family used to that kind of audio attack. From that night on I know that there's an innate killing instinct in the human race, only the fear of punishment, i.e., imprisonment with snoring cell mates, held me back. ;-)
- Save health
Pilots of loud aircraft, air passengers suffering from air sickness, workmen working with loud machinery, swimmers, surfers, divers, riflemen, hunters, disc jockeys and disco visitors need them if they don't want to ruin their hearing.
Hearing damage needn't be painful at the time of occurrence. Noise should be considered as a physical hazard, though, and the result of prolonged exposure to excessive noise can lead to loss of hearing.
I discovered ear plugs relatively late in my life, but am still 'young' enough to enjoy the pleasure and comfort they give me. I've experimented with different kinds until I've found the right ones for me.
My research on the net has uncovered that the Brits and the Americans are the leading producers of ear plugs, I can only state the fact, but not interpret it.
- Ear plugs made of purified beeswax, cotton and lanolin
You roll them between your finger tips for a while until they become warm and soft and then insert them into your ear canal to which they adapt. They are reusable.
I know a woman who had got so used to this kind after sleeping beside her snoring husband for 30 years that she went on using them even after his death! Many people say they're the best, but I don't like the waxy feeling, it gives me the creeps.
- Ear plugs made of soft polymer foam
You press and roll one end of the plug between your fingers forming a firm tip which you insert into your ear canal, there the pressed material regains its former volume filling the hollow. These ear plugs are pleasant to touch, I rather like them, the only problem is that they fall out occasionally during the nigh
t although I'm not a very fitful sleeper.
I buy my ear plugs in a pharmacy or in a special shop for hearing aids, I'm sure you can do that in the UK, too, if not, here's an address from which you can order them online:
250 plugs per packet, reusable.
Price: £21.99 (Excluding: VAT at 17.5%)
- Ear plugs made from silicon rubber
They look like little trees or umbrellas with three tiny roofs, are extremely soft and comfortable to wear, for me they are the best. The material, though, is a bit harder than the soft foam rubber of the type mentioned before, they can hurt a bit when you sleep with one ear pressed to the pillow which I do, so I use a foam rubber one for the pillow ear (it's always the same ear) and the plastic tree one for the other ear.
Two plugs supplied in single cartons, reusable.
Price: £1.05 (Excluding: VAT at 17.5%)
There are several firms offering ear plugs online, I've chosen the one whose products I've tested.
Even with the best you can't reach complete 'artificial deafness', the best you can get is a reduction in sound level of 25 db, that is because even with your ear canals completely blocked the bones in your head will conduct sound to your inner ear. Interesting, innit?
Wot? No historical survey of the development of ear plugs through the ages and stages of humankind?
We certainly don't find ear plugs with prehistoric cave people, which noises were there to shut out? No supersonic aircraft, no pneumatic air hammers, and as to snoring, well, I think the Flintstone tribe had no problem with this, they all did it (my guess).
When we go back in time, we come to the field of mythology, the first use of ear plugs was 'documented' by Homer in the Odyssey. Odysseus was sailing with his men past the
Sirens. These beautiful songsters couldn't be resisted by human will alone, but if the ship steered in their direction the men would never see home again. The sirens sat in a meadow surrounded by bones. So Odysseus plugged the ears of the boats men with wax and had himself lashed to the mast. Although he heard the melody and his soul was drawn to it, he couldn't act to harm himself because he was safely lashed.
Now who said there wasn't a lot you could say about earplugs?!
made from a unique silicon rubber, makes them extremely soft and comfortable to wear. Ultrafit fits most ear canals comfortably and Provides a high level of attenuation. Supplied in single cartons.