Blu-Tack Ear Plugs & Swimming Not Safe

Don't use Blu-Tack* For Ear Plugs!

Lots of swimmers use Blu-tack as substitute earplugs because of its flexibility and it's easy moulding to the ear and apparently, some ENT specialist thinks it is Ok.

Picture of a headband to hold earplugs in Blu-Tack Ear Plugs & Swimming Not Safe.
Headband To Hold in Earplugs

But the parents of one of my students told me that their doctor was very unhappy with the idea, so I thought I would mention this in passing to our pediatrician.

If I were to say that pediatricians are not fans of Blu-Tack as a substitute for earplugs, I think that may be understating it a little.

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What happens, apparently is that tiny little bits flake off and stay in the ear. Thus Blu-tack is not a good thing for anybody: but if your child has tubes in their ears the results of Blu-Tack flakes are untold complications. In short, Don't Do it! Despite the apparent contradiction between specialists, why would you risk it when there are plenty of earplug substitutes and a lot of cheap effective earplugs so that you don't have to.

Enjoy
   Richard


*Blu-Tack is a brand name that may be called different things in different countries. It is a flexible and pliable sticky substance the is intended for temporarily fixing things in place. I personally find it very useful in many situations. Its use in swimming is Not something that is promoted or recommended by the manufactures.



2 comments:

  1. Ouch! Good information to know, Richard!

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  2. “why would you risk it when there are plenty of earplug substitutes and a lot of cheap effective earplugs so that you don't have to”: Because I have to. I have an apparent allergic reaction to EVERY type of earplug on the market save for the oily-ish silicone ones that seem not to stay in well due to (I gather) the oily-ish ness. Every single brand and type leaves my ears scarlet, itchy, and sore.

    I don’t react to Blu Tack in ANY manner. (My long hair sometimes gets stuck in it; this is the only drawback I’ve found.)

    When I first started with it, I molded it into a verrrry long point at one end and a small lump at the other, with the aim of putting it point-first into my ear canal. I stopped doing this within the first week after a painful trip to Urgent Care to get a piece of Blu Tack removed from my eardrum. (That was a major drag; I suggest you NOT make a very long cone the way I did. Shorter is better!)

    I can’t for the life of me imagine a squishy piece of rubber “flaking off”; I associate flaking with dry, crumbly things, but just to make sure, I took a video of the inside of my ears. (I’ve been using this stuff as earplugs for four years, so if anyone has Blu Tack crumbliest in her ears, it is I.) I see nothing in there that looks like crumbs of Blu Tack, for what it’s worth.

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