Your hearing is important, and we’ve advised you before to bring earplugs to concerts and have them handy for loud movies to protect your ears. But there are other places you should consider bringing earplugs, even places that aren’t usually loud enough to make you fear for your ear health.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hospital, you probably know that it’s tough to get a good night’s sleep. There are lights on at all hours, nurses and roommates constantly talking, and all kinds of distractions that can make for a rough night. A pair of earplugs and a sleep mask can go a long way toward making your nights more restful.
Earplugs can help you sleep on a flight, block out the sounds of your hotel neighbour’s too-loud TV, and lessen your regret at booking a room that turns out to be too close to the highway, train tracks, a construction site, or noisy wildlife.
This goes double if you’ll have a roommate. Look, sometimes people snore. Sometimes they talk in their sleep. You won’t have to get up and nudge your roomie if you remembered to pack a pair of earplugs. Just make sure your alarm is turned up loud enough that you’ll still hear it in the morning.
The library or coffee shop
A coffee shop can be a great place to get work done, especially if the noises of the espresso machine and the mumbling of your fellow patrons meld into a soothing yet non-distracting soundscape. But sometimes somebody is having a conversation right there and it’s more distracting than you’d like. Use your earplugs (or, if you’re fancy, noise-cancelling headphones) so that you can actually get your studying or work done.
On a motorcycle
The noise inside a motorcycle helmet can be frustratingly loud (or so I hear), enough so that motorcycle earplugs are a thing. Consider wearing them on your next ride, or anywhere else wind or road noise may become uncomfortable.
If you’re prone to getting swimmer’s ear, a pair of waterproof earplugs can be helpful. They’re not just for swimming, either: consider also wearing them if you tend to get water in your ears when surfing, kayaking, or doing other activities in or near the water.