All pharmacies carry malleable earplugs. In case of an emergency they can be easily moulded to the contours of your ear. They also are very handy to keep in your emergency first aid kits. Earplugs are of different types, shapes and made of different materials. There are earplugs for shooters, musicians, etc.
Earplugs for shooters, for instance, contain a type of acoustic valve. It gives you normal hearing until a sudden loud or percussive noise, when it instantly closes and damps. Shooter's earplugs only seal for a potentially damaging noise. Thus, they will allow your ears to function and breathe the rest of the time. However, the 'valve' type ear plugs have some disadvantages. Operating by closing due to the concussive shock of a very loud sound makes them ineffective in reducing the volume of typical loud sounds. Disposable foam plugs are really effective in reducing the overall sound volume. Nevertheless, these earplugs cannot be very comfortable in usage. You should not try to force them in to your ear without rolling them. They will drive wax, dirt and if you put it deep into your ear, they may cause troubles.
Another type of earplugs is electronic sound reducing head-sets (muff style). These can be very good for musicians. The highly effective physical sound reduction is provided by the muff. At the same time, normal (or improved) hearing of low volume sounds is provided by the electronic use of a microphone / speaker system. The level of loud sounds is also immediately reduced. Such earplugs are large and expensive, though they are a good solution for group players.
We all know that various producers offer a different quality of the same thing. This is also true with earplugs. The Matrix line of single-use earplugs, for instance, is designed to provide an improved fit and comfort for the user as well as an easier insertion without rolling and the ability to screen harmful noises out, while allowing human voice frequencies in. Incorporating a thermoplastic elastomer material (TPE), the plugs feature a dual-density foam construction that provides a tightly compacted, denser plug center.
Many people use earplugs as a means to ensure the normal sleep deprivation. Some tests were made to determine the effect of earplugs on sleep measures during the exposure to the simulated intensive care unit noise by CJ Wallace, J Robins, LS Alvord, and JM Walker. You can see the results below:
"RESULTS: Sleep architecture and sound measurements on quiet nights did not differ significantly. Sound levels were significantly lower on quiet nights than on noise nights. The exposure to the noise increased the number of awakenings, the percentage of stage two sleep, and rapid eye movement latency and decreased time asleep, the sleep maintenance efficiency index, and the percentage of rapid eye movement sleep. Earplugs, worn during the exposure to the noise, produced a significant decrease in rapid eye movement latency and an increase in the percentage of rapid eye movement sleep. CONCLUSION: The results provide a reasonable basis for testing the effects of earplugs on the sleep of critically ill subjects."