With summertime upon us and sunny days, warm weather, school holidays and lots of time spent outside, we look forward to time off, maybe to foreign lands. But, for those of us with hearing aids, summer can present its own set of problems
What are the challenges with hearing aids in summer?
If the weather is hot, a dip in a swimming pool is a great way to cool off, but do take precautions against potential ear problems. All water contains bacteria but there are higher levels if untreated such as river, lake and sea water.
When water containing bacteria gets trapped in the ear, it is in a nice warm ear canal, the perfect environment for the bacteria to multiply. This may lead to an infection in the skin within the ear causing inflammation and can become very painful.
Exposure to heat or moisture
Hearing aids can be damaged when exposed to heat or moisture. Sweat and water are the two biggest enemies of hearing aids during the summer, and sharp temperature changes can cause condensation and an increased propensity to sweat. All of these are damaging to your hearing aids and may prevent them from working properly.
Damage could result in distorted or weak sound quality, reduced battery life and inconsistent functionality. Take out your hearing aids when exercising outside, if it is raining or if the weather is extremely warm.
It is good hearing health to protect our ears from excessive noise. Noise protection applies to all the family, not just those wearing hearing aids and not just the obvious times such as loud concerts or sporting events, but also when using electrical tools such as lawnmowers and DIY power tools. South East Hearing Care Centres can provide inexpensive over-the-counter noise plugs or custom fit noise protection ear moulds if festivals id your thing. Please contact us for more details.
Summer is the time for meeting with friends and family, barbecues, fetes, festivals and parties. Your family will be delighted that you are taking care of your hearing health by wearing your hearing aids, so ensure you have an ample supply of batteries, domes, cleaners and filters before holiday travels or social events. Enjoy the rest of summer and we will update you with our winter tips later in the year.
Oils in sunscreen
Sunscreen has oils that can damage hearing aids, so apply lotions or sprays completely before putting on your hearing aids. Be sure that the sunscreen is fully rubbed in or dry before putting your hearing aids back on or the oils will seep into open seams and microphone ports or vents.
Summer should be fun not stressful. Follow our tips below for a worry-free summer that’s full of sounds and sunshine.
What can you do to prevent issues?
Our summer hearing aid health tips
- At night, open the battery door to allow dry, fresh air to move through the hearing aid and relieve moisture.
- Keep you hearing aids in a protective case and out of direct sunlight when you are not wearing them.
- Avoid storing hearing aids in humid places such as in glove boxes, dashboards, or other environments where heat and moisture can build up.
- Remove your hearing aids before showering, swimming or any activity in which you will or could be exposed to water.
- Keep your ears as dry as possible by using a bathing cap, ear plugs or custom-fit earmoulds when swimming.
- If water gets in your ears, never use the cotton buds to get it out. Simply tilt your head on its side on one shoulder and jiggle the ear lobe quite vigorously and the movement and gravity should encourage the water to simply drain out.
- Dry ears thoroughly after swimming or showering.
- Leave earwax alone and refrain from putting objects in your ear such as cotton-tip swabs or fingers.
If you feel that you have a build-up of wax, please make an appointment to see us so that we can safely remove it.
Have questions about how to care for your hearing aids?
Call your local South East Hearing Care clinic or book an appointment for a thorough clean and check of your ears and hearing aids before travel.