Ear Putty Keeps Water Out of Your Ears, Ear plugs help prevent outer ear infections, also known as swimmer's ear. Ear plugs are designed to help exclude water from the ear canal whilst swimming, therefore reducing the risk of waterborn infection. When water remains in the outer ear canal, it provides an ideal growing environment for infecting microorganisms. Bugs and foreign objects can also become lodged in the area and cause serious problems. Outer ear infections cause redness and itching of the ear canal, pain, discharge, and even hearing loss. Eyeline Ear Plugs are to be used for swimming only, in chlorinated or salt water.