Ashford Clinic Blog
Protect Your Ears This Summer
Summer fun might look a little different for a lot of us this year, it's just part of where we are right now. Many of the bigger, louder summer activities are on hold - like concerts and outdoor festivals - but there are still plenty of fun summer activities and things to celebrate. Something you may want to consider as you're making plans is what effect these activities might have on your ears. Here's a quick rundown of things you can do to protect your ears this summer...
- Wear earplugs or hearing protection when you're going to be around loud noises. Repetitive, prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage. Most concerts and music festivals are canceled or postponed, but there are other loud activities (looking at you, fireworks) that can pose a threat to your hearing. Make sure you plan ahead to keep your hearing safe.
- Prepare your ears for flying. Many people are avoiding air travel right now, but there are some important things to consider for your ears if you do need to hop on a plane. Take-offs and landings can cause ear pain or problems, especially if you're congested. Pain and pressure during the ascent and descent of a flight are caused by changes in air pressure and how your eustachian tubes respond to those changes. You can help your ears adjust by chewing gum or swallowing during landing and take off. If you are congested, take a decongestant before boarding the plane to help open your eustachian tubes before the flight begins.
- Avoid swimmers ear - an infection of the skin in your ear canal - by wearing earplugs while swimming or using over the counter drops to clean your ears after going for a swim. Swimmers ear is a common infection caused by bacteria living in the water you swim in. If the water looks yucky, it's best to avoid going in altogether.
- Be aware of activities that can rupture your eardrum. These may include things like landing on your ear when jumping into the water or descending too quickly while scuba diving. If you think you've ruptured your eardrum, make an appointment with your ENT.
If you do experience pain, ringing, or hearing loss during the summer months, don't put off seeing a doctor. Infection or injury can get worse quickly, so it's best to get treated as soon as possible.