Going for a swim at the Wood Valley Pool is a refreshing way to get some exercise. For those who wear hearing aids, swimming may present a unique challenge. A condition called swimmer’s ear occurs when water becomes trapped in the ear canal and causes bacterial growth, leading to inflammation and infection. Placing hearing aids in your ears after a swim can increase the likelihood that water will become trapped in the ear canal.
Let’s look at a few tips for protecting against swimmer’s ear without taking your hearing aids out of commission.
Tips to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear
Incorporating preventative measures into your swimming routine can safeguard against swimmer’s ear and allow you to continue to enjoy your favorite exercise and the benefits of hearing aids. Consider employing the following tips:
- Use Earplugs. Investing in high-quality, custom-fitted earplugs designed for swimming can significantly reduce the risk of water entering the ear canal. These earplugs create a seal, preventing water from reaching your ears. Combine earplugs with a swimming cap for extra protection.
- Properly Dry Your Ears. After swimming, it is crucial to thoroughly dry your ears. Tilt your head to each side and gently tug the earlobe to facilitate drainage. You can also use a soft towel or a hairdryer on the lowest setting held at least a foot away from the ear to remove excess moisture.
- Avoid Swimming in High-Bacteria Water. Be mindful of the water quality when choosing where to swim. High-bacteria environments, such as stagnant pools or untreated bodies of water like lakes or ponds, can increase the likelihood of developing swimmer’s ear.
Once your ears are clean and dry, you can feel free to place your hearing aids back in your ears without the concern of trapping water.
Maintaining Hearing Aids to Prevent Bacteria
Proper maintenance of your hearing aids is essential for promoting bacteria-free ear canals. Consider employing the following tips:
- Regular Cleaning. Clean your devices daily using a soft, dry cloth or a specialized cleaning tool provided by your hearing aid specialist. This helps remove any debris or moisture that may have accumulated.
- Avoid Moisture Exposure. Moisture is the enemy of hearing aids. When not in use, store your hearing aids in a dry, protective case. Avoid exposing them to excessive humidity, direct water contact or extreme temperatures.
- Regular Check-Ups With a Hearing Aid Specialist. Schedule routine appointments with your hearing aid specialist to ensure your devices function correctly. They can perform thorough cleanings, address any issues and make necessary adjustments.
Protecting against swimmer’s ear is essential for hearing aid users who enjoy the occasional or frequent swim. By using earplugs, drying your ears and practicing proper maintenance, you can minimize the risk of swimmer’s ear and continue to enjoy the benefits of your hearing aids without compromising your ear health.
To learn more about caring for your hearing aids and ear health, contact Topeka Ear Nose & Throat today to make an appointment with one of our specialists.