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Protect Your Hearing this Summer!

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.