Hearing Healthy Through the Summer
Summer is here and it’s getting hot! As summer unfolds, going swimming is a popular way to relax, unwind, exercise, and socialize. In Central California, the swimming pools, the rivers, and the lakes are always a popular summer activity! But is it safe to go swimming with your hearing aid? Swimming pools, and swimming in general, can have implications for both your hearing aid and your hearing health. At Beltone’s Central California Hearing Centers, we think it’s important to remind our clients that If you are going swimming this summer, there are a few things to remember:
Can I go swimming with my hearing aid?
If you wear a hearing aid, it’s important to know that unless you opt for a completely waterproof hearing aid, you’ll need to remove your hearing aids before swimming in the water. If you do not take off your hearing aids before jumping in the water, they will likely suffer from moisture damage. Moisture damage can have devastating impacts on the hearing aid device. For this reason, please remember to remove them before jumping in the water this summer.
Can swimming damage my hearing?
Spending long lengths of time in the water can have impacts on your ears and your hearing. The ear condition otitis externa, commonly known as “swimmer’s ear,” occurs when the tube between the outer ear and the eardrum becomes inflamed. This condition occurs when your ears are subjected to a bacteria found in lakes, oceans, rivers and swimming pools that aren’t treated properly with chemicals. In extreme circumstances, it can even happen in the shower! Most frequently, though, swimmer’s ear is experienced when an individual swims for long periods of time in swimming pools or other bodies of water.
The condition known as “swimmer’s ear” may go away on its own, untreated, without causing any damage. Other times, however, it can cause severe pain and uncomfortable itchiness. Swimmer’s ear can even lead to a degree of temporary hearing loss. If you experience swimmer’s ear, the best thing you can do is simply avoid swimming and immersing your ears in water until the condition has resolved itself. In mild cases, swimmer’s ear can clear up in about 7 – 14 days. If, however, you are in pain or are extremely uncomfortable, you may choose to seek quicker relief by trying an over-the-counter ear drop remedy. Ear drops may work to soothe the pain, and usually clear the condition in about a week. In serious cases, it may be necessary to visit your doctor, as swimmer’s ear can cause an infection which can lead to blockage in your ear. If you have persistent itching, pain that increases when you tug on the outer ear, a feeling of blockage in your ear, or drainage or pus coming from your ear, it is critical that you seek immediate professional medical attention.
How can I prevent damage to my hearing when I go swimming?
Here are few tips to help you protect your ears and your hearing during the summertime swim season:
- Wear earplugs or use a swimming cap to cover your ears when swimming
- If you get water in your ear, try to remove immediately
- Always clean and dry your ears out properly after swimming
- DO NOT try to remove any water with ear Q-tips as you may force wax deeper into your ear blocking the water
- Only use swimming pools you know are properly chlorinated to avoid infection
At Beltone’s Central California Hearing Aid Centers, we are here to help you navigate the challenges of protecting your ears and your hearing health. If you have questions about how to keep your ears healthy and clean after swimming, we can help. If you are interested in a waterproof hearing aid, for use in the summer or throughout the entire year, our team of hearing health professionals can help you find the right hearing aid device for your lifestyle and your budget.
At Beltone, we truly care about our clients and helping you gain and maintain your optimal hearing health. We are here for you when you need us! If you have experienced any pain or discomfort after swimming, please give us a call and we can schedule you for a FREE hearing screening. Beltone Central California has six offices to serve you in our Central Valley region, Fresno, Hanford, Modesto, Oakhurst, Sonora, and Visalia, and we also offer remote appointments via a phone or video call. Call or come into your local Beltone Central California office today to find out how we can help you!