The summer months are well and truly upon us and our what-felt-like-a-lifetime-away summer holidays are only around the corner, but are you fully prepared and protected so that you can enjoy your time away with your loved ones?
We all know the importance of protecting our skin on holiday, but a lot of people don’t think about protecting their ears and how crucial it is to be prepared beforehand so you aren’t faced with any issues whilst you’re away. Looking after our hearing is vital when on holiday to avoid any permanent damage occurring. There are steps that can be taken to help protect your ears whilst on holiday.
Prevent Swimmer’s Ear
One of the most common issues people suffer with whilst on holiday is swimmer’s ear. Whether you’re doing laps in the pool each day or just relaxing by the edge, everyone is at risk of swimmer’s ear. Water can carry certain bacteria, increasing our chances of getting swimmers ear, which is one of the most common preventable ear infections.
You will quite quickly notice changes to your ears when you’ve got swimmer’s ear – some of the symptoms include redness of the outer ear, itching, earache, discharge and muffled hearing. If you ignore these symptoms they can worsen, causing severe pain, a fever and swelling to the ear and neck.
To protect yourself this summer from swimmer’s ear, you may want to consider looking at getting some custom made ear plugs for swimming, designed to keep your ears water resistant. If you are concerned about the health of your ears before or after your holiday, visit your local audiologist and they will be able to advise you.
Avoid the unfamiliar
We all have a tendency when going on holiday to use multiple products or cosmetic items that we wouldn’t use at home. This can include various sun creams, moisturisers, soaps etc, which if carelessly applied, can enter the ear canal. Your ears can be sensitive to all kinds of external sources, and the delicate skin within your ears could have a reaction to anything from a new shampoo to the metal of a new pair of earrings.
Steps to avoid infection or discomfort would include careful application of cosmetic products, removing jewellery at night time, not putting any objects in your ears e.g. cotton buds, hair clips etc, and keeping to your same everyday products – don’t change it up just for your holiday.
Attempting to remove ear wax with household objects can not only cause scratches and cuts but can also have serious long-term effects on your hearing. If you are suffering from pain in the ears or need help removing ear wax, forget the DIY fixes and visit your local THCP audiologist to prevent any long-term hearing loss.
Prepare for air travel
We all know the sensation of our ears popping when landing and taking off in an aeroplane – this is normal as the air pressure changes and for most people doesn’t cause any trouble. For some people though, it can cause severe pain and even temporary hearing loss due to the pressure in your ears. Easy steps which can help to reduce the risk of experiencing any pain include swallowing or yawning, sucking and chewing on sweets or drinking through a straw when taking off or landing.
Levels of noise can also affect your hearing when travelling on holiday. Many sounds that we don’t even notice whilst travelling can be harmful to our ears, for example, the bustling noise in an airport, the noise when taking off (particularly if you are sat close to the wings) or even music events and nightclub music. Exposure to any sound louder than 85 decibels over a prolonged period of time can affect your hearing.
Depending on how long you will be exposed to these noises, it may be worth considering getting a pair of custom-made ear plugs for travelling to help prevent any unwanted damage to your ears. Not only will these protect your hearing, they can also help you to relax and even get some sleep when travelling on a plane. When exposed to loud sounds, you should give your ears at least 18 hours rest afterwards.
Make sure you have fun, look after your health and get plenty of rest. Ear plugs aren’t something you have to wear 24/7 but they are helpful when you know you are going to be exposed to various situations in which your hearing could be damaged. Prevention is the best form of treatment for hearing loss.
If you’re looking to help protect your hearing for your summer holiday, book an appointment online with your local THCP branch, giving you the chance to speak to one our expert audiologists and why not consider having some custom-made ear plugs designed just for you!