Protect Your Hearing This Summer
Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center/Lakeland Hearing Care
It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. However, outdoor activities can lead to noise-induced hearing loss if you are not careful. Noise-related hearing loss is common, affecting nearly 15 percent of adults in the United States. Infants and small children are more sensitive to loud noises because their ear canal is still developing and is shorter than an adult.
Many popular summer activities can be hazardous to our ears. Prolonged exposure to the sounds of lawn mowers, power tools, motorized vehicles, sporting events, and concerts can all lead to irreversible hearing damage. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep everyone’s ears safe and prevent long-term damage.
Use earplugs. When you or your children are going to be exposed to loud sounds, wear earplugs to prevent damage to your hearing. Disposable earplugs made of foam or silicone are readily available and will allow you to hear music and conversations while blocking dangerously loud sounds. Custom ear protection crafted from earmolds will perfectly fit the unique contours of the ears, guaranteeing a snug, proper fit and dependable protection.
Take measures to protect against swimmer’s ear. There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool swim on a hot day, but when water enters the ear canals it can lead to a painful infection known as swimmer’s ear. To protect against this, invest in a pair of swimmer’s plugs. Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming, and make sure to tilt your head to the side to drain any residual water from the ear canals. Avoid swimming in water where bacterial counts are high (look for signs posted at the local beach).
Planning ahead. Getting your hearing checked periodically by an audiologist can help identify changes to your hearing over time, and allows you to take action if necessary. It is recommended to get a baseline audiogram performed by the age of 60 if you are not already experiencing any hearing-related symptoms. If you have hearing-related concerns including ringing in the ears, a family history of hearing loss or are frequently exposed to loud noises at work or during recreational hobbies, it’s best to start your screenings earlier.