Posting again here as was getting technical error replying. Indeed custom silicone earplugs can become very painful with regular use. There are several things you need to do to this, which I discovered after many subsequent conversations with the audiologists who make them. Highly recommend you do the following:
1. Before fitting the earplugs make sure you apply a paper thin coat of Otoferm Creme
. This is a product specifically made for moulded earplugs and essentially provides a barrier against the skin inside your ear, which is some of the most sensitive in the whole body. It makes it much easier to fit them, they stay in place and don't become sore as often. I use it daily before sleeping - and also be sure to wash your earplugs every 2-3 days and air dry, before applying the cream. You can often find them on Amazon but also several independent online shops. Search for Otoferm Creme in Google, retailers like
Boots Hearing Care
Holt Hearing and Balance
I tend to buy about 10 packets at once as I find I go through one every 6 months, that way I always have some around in case they get lost - easily done as the tube is tiny!
2. Regularly use Eargene
, which is a sort of lubricant for the ear canal/opening - I tend to apply this using a Q-tip every few days. Together with Otoferm above, in combination they really do work to minise itchyness and discomfort.
Boots Hearing Care
3. For everyone asking about which audiologist I have worked with - it is Nick Clive - Director & Audiologist at London Hearing
. Their address is 150 Harley Street, London W1G 7LQ:
n.clive AT 150harleyst DOT com (NappyValley keeps rejecting the email address when I type it in normally)
You can either visit his practice in person - or they have partners they work with around the country who you can visit more locally, whom will book you in so they can take a foam impression of your ear canal which is used to make custom moulded ear plugs.
I've worked with them for nearly a decade, probably have had 3x sets of earplugs - as they degrade after about 2 years and also believe it or not, ear canals have slight shape changes over the years so you may need to repeat having the moulds done, especially if you are finding the earplugs don't fit as well.
One final point for anyone considering getting these - the type of silicone used for the earplugs is key
. I went through a few different types before I found the ones that suited me best - they are the very soft versions and it is called a 'low shore silicone' - if you think you're quite sensitive, be sure to ask Nick for this type and also that they pay attention to the pressure points when making them.
Good luck & wishing every good nights' sleeps.