Caring for your ears during the summer

Summer is for fun — just make sure that fun doesn’t come at the expense of your ears! Swimming, boating, water sports and fireworks are all a natural part of what makes summer so great, but you don’t want to inadvertently do any damage to your hearing.

We’ve compiled some tips on how to care for your years during the summer. Make sure you contact Associated Audiologists with any hearing concerns you might have.

Protect your ears when traveling

Many summer family vacations involve traveling by plane. During takeoffs and landings, the pressure in the passenger cabin will change, which can cause a feeling or fullness or pressure in your ears (some people may feel a “popping” sensation). Chewing gum, yawning, and drinking water can help to alleviate this sensation.

If the noise of the airplane bothers you, consider using earplugs. If you have pressure-related discomfort, consider investing in earplanes which are available at most pharmacies and at airport kiosks. They come in child and adult sizes and can help prevent and relieve discomfort caused by air pressure changes.

Prevent swimmer’s ear

Some people turn into fish the moment they see water, and there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a dip in a pool. But frequent swimmers and others who enjoy water sports  also put themselves at risk for swimmer’s ear.

Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the skin of the ear canal and is more common in individuals who swim in chlorinated pools vs saltwater pools. The chlorine changes the pH in the ear canal, making the skin more susceptible to infection.  It’s a good idea to invest in swimplugs specifically designed for swimming and swimmer’s ear prevention if you’re a frequent swimmer. Custom swimplugs seal the ear and keep water out. Over-the-counter protection is also available.

Protect against loud sounds

Sports games, outdoor concerts, fireworks — what’s not to love about all those fun summertime activities? As you’re enjoying yourself outdoors this summer, make sure you’re aware of the increased noise levels that you might be experiencing. Construction is also more prevalent during the summer, which means you’ll be exposed to loud construction noises. Any motorized vehicles that are used during the summer — like jet skis, boats, and motorcycles — can also contribute high noise levels to the environment.

If you feel like you’re going to be in an environment where you’ll be susceptible to noise damage, be prepared: Bring earplugs! If you don’t have earplugs on you and noise surprises you, just plug your ears and walk away. The worst thing you can do is remain in the situation and try to allow your ears to “adjust” unprotected.

If you’re frequently in situations where loud noises are regularly occurring, consider investing in custom-fit ear protection. Otherwise, less expensive over-the-counter-options can be effective such as foam ear plugs or safety ear muffs. For even more protection, use foam plugs and safety ear muffs.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors without risking your hearing, Associated Audiologists has a wide range of hearing protection products that could benefit you. We have audiologists in Manhattan, KS as well as the Kansas City metro area. Contact us today to talk about your options and how you can prevent hearing loss.