What challenges does summer bring for hearing?2021-02-02 For people who use hearing aids – as well as those who don’t – there are a few things to consider during the warm summer months.
Beware of sunscreen and lotions
When you slap on the cream to protect your skin, watch out for your hearing aids! The plastic they are made from can be affected by the chemicals in various cosmetics. You should remove your hearing aids while you apply suncream, and put them back on after you have rubbed it in and cleaned your hands.
Festivals and music concerts
Are you heading to an open-air concert? Or perhaps your children or grandchildren are? If it will be loud, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of hearing damage. In open-air settings where the atmosphere is more open than an indoor environment, people often forget to be aware of the dangers of loud noise.
Remember this: If you have to shout to make yourself heard, your hearing is under strain. Consider wearing hearing protection such as disposable earplugs, and take regular breaks from the loud environment.
Keep hearing equipment cool, and beware the dangers of heat
Hearing aids and their accessories can be negatively affected by the heat, so you need to keep them cool. Avoid leaving them in your car for any length of time, and always keep them out of direct sunlight.
Flying off on holiday
When we fly (or dive underwater), we often feel discomfort caused by a sense of pressure in the ears and nose. This is caused by a difference in air pressure between the outside and inside of your ear, nose, or sinuses.
If the air can flow relatively easily, the higher pressure air will quickly flow to the lower pressure air, and the pressure difference will disappear.
However, if the air can’t flow freely due to a blockage, we can experience discomfort as the air presses on the blockage. Blockages can be caused by earwax, inflammation, or a common cold.
When flying with hearing aids, you can keep your devices on as you go through security, and onto the plane. So keep them switched on as you travel – they’ll help you hear any important announcements.
At the beach and by the pool
Few hearing aids can tolerate much water – even if they are water-resistant. So make sure to take them off before getting stuck into that waterfight!
Equally, it’s important to have a dry place to store them while you are swimming, and afterwards when you reach for your towel.
Some people get a small ‘dry box’, which are inexpensive, waterproof containers. These are especially important if you go canoeing, sailing, or take part in other wet activities where you need to take your hearing aids with you.
Finally - dry your hair before putting your hearing aids back on.
Clean hearing aids regularly
With the heat of summer, we all sweat a little more. This makes a perfect environment for fungal microbes to develop in your hearing aids.
To avoid fungi, keep disinfectant cleaning wipes handy so you can clean your devices regularly. You may also benefit from changing filters and domes more often.
It is also important to ensure good air circulation through your hearing aids. Open the battery drawer at night so fresh air can get inside and the old, moist air can get out.
If you find significant moisture building up, it may be wise to invest in a hearing aid dryer.
Take spares on holiday
You will enjoy your precious weeks away in the sun more if you can hear well, so make sure you have everything you need for your hearing aids.
Extra batteries, tubes and filters are just some of the accessories you might get through, but it depends on the type of hearing aid you have. What else do you periodically need to replace?
You can read more about the different types of hearing aids here.