It was a long winter in the Midwest, and most of us are thrilled to be outside soaking up the sun. But summer can pose some special challenges to your hearing and hearing aids you should be aware of. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your ears and hearing aids while still enjoying the sunshine!
Summer fun often includes water activities, but water and hearing aids don’t mix. Be sure to take your hearing aids out before you jump in the pool or shower off after a day at the beach.
You may love to swim during the warmer weather, 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. The chlorine changes the pH in the ear canal, making the skin more susceptible to infection. It’s a good idea to invest in swim plugs specifically designed for swimming and swimmer’s ear prevention if you’re a frequent swimmer. Custom swim plugs seal the ear and keep water out and are available from Associated Audiologists. Over-the-counter protection is available at local pharmacies.
Hearing aids don’t like humidity, but in the Midwest, summer heat and humidity go hand-in-hand. If you wear hearing aids, be sure to use some type of dehumidifying device to reduce the moisture your hearing aids are exposed to. Devices such as a Dry-and-Store, Lux, or a simple desiccant, can help absorb the moisture in your hearing aids and extend their life. The staff at Associated Audiologists can advise you on the appropriate dehumidifier and we carry most options at competitive pricing, which saves shipping costs.
Watch the sunscreen. Your ears are one of the most common spots on the body where skin cancers are found. To protect against the summer sun, be sure to cover your ears with sunscreen, but try not to get it on your hearing aids. Sunscreen contains oils and chemicals that could damage them. To protect your ears and your hearing aids, apply your sunscreen first, then put your hearing aids on.
Pressure When Flying
If you’re traveling for vacation and are flying, you may experience pressure or a feeling of fullness during take-offs and landings. 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 EarPlanesTM 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.
Summer is full of opportunities for fun, and exposure to loud noises we normally would not hear at any other time of the year – think outdoor concerts, fireworks, and sports games. To be sure you don’t miss out on the fun, but take care of your hearing, wear hearing protection. Often, simple foam plugs available at your local pharmacy can be a big help. Over-the-counter headphones also can be helpful at reducing your exposure to loud noise. For added protection, wear the foam earplugs, plus headphones, and you’ll reduce your risk of hearing loss even more. And, if you’re often exposed to noise from activities such as motorcycles, chainsaws, hunting or you’re a musician in a band, consider professional hearing protection. To help you enjoy the summer, but take care of your hearing, Associated Audiologists offers a variety of hearing protection, as well as dehumidifying devices for your hearing aids.