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Hearing Healthcare and Summer: How to navigate the new season with hearing loss

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

David - Audiologist for Hearing Aid UK
Medically Reviewed By:
David

Audiology Expert at Hearing Aid UK

Updated: 9th May 2024
Hearing Healthcare and Summer

Hearing Healthcare in Summer

How to navigate the new season with hearing loss and hearing aids

 

Ear health in summer

Summer welcomes the start of outdoor socialising, water sports, adventures, holidays, and warmer weather.  Due to the season's shift ear care is even more important for those with hearing loss. 

The mix of rising temperatures, increased moisture, and water activities can become more challenging to navigate the season whilst wearing hearing aids and keeping your ear health in check.

In this article, we explore such challenges, as well as tips on how to maintain your best ear health and keep your devices working as they should during the warmer months.

 Hearing aids and humidity and moisture

When to take extra care of your hearing health this Summer:

Water Activities: Swimming, surfing, and other water activities become popular with the warmer weather. Be mindful of your ear health in the water, it can lead to ear infections and other hearing issues if water enters the ear canal.

In High Humidity and Heat: High temperatures and humidity can create a breeding ground for bacteria and moisture buildup, which can affect both your ears and hearing aids. Make sure you have a regular cleaning regimen in place, especially if you wear hearing aids.

At Loud Events: The amount of concerts, especially outdoor festivals we attend increase during the summer months, often involve exposure to loud noises that can damage your hearing, causing temporary (and under extreme circumstances permanent) noise induced hearing loss and worsen tinnitus symptoms.

During Outdoor Activities: Spending more time outdoors increases the likelihood of encountering pollutants and allergens that can affect your hearing health. Take care to not allow dirt and dust particles to build up in the ears. This can affect hearing aids, create a build-up of ear wax and potentially lead to infection.

 

Hearing aids and humidity and moisture

An increase in moisture can cause ear infections, especially for hearing aid wearers.  This is because prolonged use of such devices causes moisture accumulation and/or earwax in the ear canal.  Resulting in a great breeding ground for bacteria.

Improper cleaning of hearing aids or poor hygiene habits may further increase the risk of ear infections. This is why regular maintenance and care are essential while being mindful to not insert objects into your ear canal as this can cause more problems.

On another note, most of our patients look to waterproof hearing aids, like Phonak Audeo Lumity Life, if they wear hearing aids and regularly partake in water sports during summer (and throughout the year).  These hearing aids are Phonak's second-generation rechargeable waterproof hearing aids with proven Lumity technology. 

They include health and data tracking and are designed to give peace of mind knowing that the devices are reliable, durable, and can keep up with active lifestyles.  This hearing solution is something to consider if this sounds a bit like you.

 

Swimmers ear

What is Swimmer's Ear and how can I prevent it?

Swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is an infection of the outer ear canal caused by water exposure. Here's our top tips to prevent Swimmer's Ear this Summer:

Use Earplugs: Invest in waterproof earplugs designed for swimming to keep water out of your ears.

Dry Your Ears: After swimming, gently dry your ears with a towel and tilt your head to drain any excess water.

- Avoid Inserting Objects: Avoid using cotton swabs or other objects to clean your ears, as they can push water further into the ear canal.

You can also protect your ears from ear infections by not swimming in polluted water. However even with all the preventions in place, infections can occur. Contact your local GP if you are experiencing any ear pain, discharge, or a reduced ability to hear.

 

Remember hearing aids perform better when kept dry

Even if your hearing aids are sweatproof, or water-resistant, they still need to be kept dry and dust-free.  Ensure you carry a soft cloth or a microfibre towel when on the go, to protect them from sweat and moisture. 

To maintain an optimum hearing experience, get into the habit of wiping your hearing aids down at the end of the day.  This will remove any unwanted moisture or debris build-up present.

 

Preventing Moisture Damage to hearing aids this summer:

Moisture from sweat, humidity, and water activities can damage hearing aids, follow our tips to get the best out of your devices:

Use a Dehumidifier: Store your hearing aids in a dehumidifier overnight to remove moisture.

Wear a Sweatband: Use a sweatband or hat to keep sweat away from your hearing aids during physical activities.

Waterproof Covers: Consider using waterproof covers or sleeves for your hearing aids to protect them from moisture.

 

outdoor festival

How to Protect your hearing this Summer:

Exposure to loud noises can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Here’s how to protect your ears if you are attending loud, outdoor events this Summer:

Wear Ear Protection: Use earplugs or earmuffs at concerts, fireworks displays, and other loud events.

Maintain Safe Distances: Stay at a safe distance from loudspeakers and fireworks to reduce noise exposure.

Take Breaks: Give your ears a break by stepping away from loud environments periodically.

 

hayfever

Managing allergies and your hearing health

Summer often brings high pollen counts, causing significant discomfort for those who suffer from hay fever and allergies.

Heightened allergens can cause ear congestion and affect your hearing. Here are our top tips for managing allergies and your hearing health this summer:

Stay Indoors: Limit outdoor activities during peak pollen times and keep an eye on weather reports which will warn of high pollen levels.

Use Medication: Remember to regularly take your over the counter antihistamines or other allergy medications as prescribed, to reduce symptoms. If you know you suffer from Hayfever try taking them before symptoms present themselves as antihistamine's long-term effectiveness builds up over time.

Keep Ears Clean: Maintain ear hygiene to prevent buildup of pollen and other allergens that are more prevalent in the summer months.

 

Conclusion:

Navigating the summer season with hearing loss and hearing aids can present unique challenges, but with the right strategies, you can maintain your ear health and device performance.

By taking precautions against humidity, moisture, and managing allergies effectively, you can enjoy all the activities and adventures summer has to offer.

Remember to prioritise regular maintenance of your hearing aids and ear hygiene, and consider waterproof or sweat-resistant options if you're frequently active in water or outdoor sports.

Follow these tips and you can ensure your hearing health remains in top shape throughout the summer.

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