Why do I need ear plugs?

After the insertion of middle ear ventilation tubes, you will need to wear ear plugs for any contact with water (including bathing, showering and swimming) to reduce the chance of infection. Kids less than 5 years old are more prone to infections from water and need to be diligent in using ear plugs until the grommets have come out and the ear drums are fully healed. This can take 12 months or more. The surgeon will let you know when you can stop using ear plugs.

What types of ear plugs can I use?

Fixed-size ear plugs are reusable plastic plugs that can be fitted by our practice nurse and purchased for $35.00 per pair. Pink and blue options are available. They last for 2-3 years.

Blu-tack is a putty-like, pliable substance that can be moulded and used in place of formal ear plugs. Packets of Blu-tack can be purchased at low-cost from supermarkets and newsagents. Our practice nurse can show you how to use Blu-tack as an ear plug.

Custom made plugs are an option for patients who may not be suitable for fixed-size ear plugs and prefer not to use Blu-tack. Custom made plugs are available for fitting and purchase through some hearing aid providers. The average cost is $100-200 per pair. They last 2-3 years.

Ear plugs to avoid include vented ear plugs and plugs that do not create a seal to stop water from entering the ear canal. Ear plugs that are designed to reduce noise are not effective to use for water protection.

When can I have ear plugs fitted?

If you are on the public patient waiting list at South West Healthcare contact our practice nurse on 03 5560 5411 to schedule a fitting once you have received your surgery date from the hospital.

If you have booked your surgery at St John of God Hospital, ask our practice nurse to arrange hearing aid fitting when you make your booking.

For infants and children who need to use ear plugs, we recommend starting to use ear plugs a few weeks before surgery rather than on the first day after surgery. This avoids your child having too many new things happening at once and helps them get used to the ear plugs in a safe, stress free time before surgery.