Protect your hearing from spring sounds and environmental impacts.
For many of us, springtime means warmer weather and more opportunities to spend time outdoors. Whether you’re enjoying outdoor activities with friends and family, getting away to a lake house for the weekend, or tending to your yard or garden, it’s important to protect your ears and hearing health.
Some simple ways to take care of your hearing in spring include:
- Shield your ears from the sun
- Apply sunscreen — carefully
- Keep up with your hearing aid maintenance
- Be mindful of moisture
- Use hearing protection around machinery
- Enjoy events safely
Read on to learn more about these ways to take care of your hearing.
Shield your ears from the sun
Taking care of your hearing health means protecting your entire ear, including the skin! Wearing sunscreen is an important part of keeping your ears safe while enjoying time outdoors (more on that in a bit), but you can take another step further by wearing a hat and sitting in shady areas. Limiting your exposure to the sun can also help protect hearing aids, since they’re susceptible to damage if exposed to direct sunlight.
Apply sunscreen — carefully
Applying sunscreen before you head outdoors is a great habit for your overall health. But if you use hearing aids, you’ll want to be cautious when applying sunscreen on or around your ears — the oils in sunscreen can affect these devices. You may want to take your hearing aids out before you apply sunscreen and wash your hands before putting them back in to avoid potential exposure.
Keep up with your hearing aid maintenance
If you use hearing aids, it’s important to keep them running smoothly so you’re ready for whatever your spring has in store. Be sure to clean your hearing aids regularly, recharge or replace the batteries as needed, and keep them in a cool, dry location when they’re not in use.
Be mindful of moisture
This tip goes for both ears and hearing aids! When it comes to your ears, it’s important to keep them dry and free from excess moisture as well! Use waterproof earplugs to keep the insides of your ears dry if you’re swimming, and use a towel to gently dry them off afterwards.
If you wear hearing aids, avoid getting them wet or exposing them to moisture, as this can damage the device and lead to bacteria growth. If you do see any water droplets or moisture inside the tubing or battery compartment, use a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier to remove it. If you plan on exercising outdoors or spending time near water this spring, consider wearing a headband to protect your hearing aids from moisture.
Use hearing protection around machinery
For many people, spring signals that it’s time for yard work again. But the tools we use to keep our lawns and yards looking great can also potentially harm our hearing. Lawnmowers can get as loud as 100 decibels, which is above the hearing damage limit. Leaf blowers can go even higher, to around 110 decibels. If you plan on using loud tools this spring, make sure to use ear protection like ear plugs or earmuffs.
Even the “machines” we use for springtime fun come with a hearing health warning — motorcycles can produce sounds that reach up to 100 decibels. If you plan on hitting the road this spring, use in-ear monitors to protect your hearing.
Enjoy events safely
If you plan on enjoying socially distanced outdoor sporting events and concerts this spring, watch out for the volume. These events can potentially produce sound loud enough to damage hearing if you’re close enough to the source for a long enough period of time. To play it safe, bring ear plugs to the show or game, try to sit or stand away from the speakers, and take breaks in a quieter area whenever possible. If a fireworks event is in your plans, be sure to wear ear plugs or noise-cancelling earphones.
With these ways to take care of your hearing, you can get our and enjoy this spring while protecting your hearing health. For more tips on protecting your hearing, keep reading the CapTel blog!