3 Things You Should Do to Protect Your Ears While on Vacation

by | Jul 27, 2022 | Hearing Health, Hearing Protection, Patient Resources

Aside from healthy choices and avoiding anything that might make you sick, have you thought about your ear and hearing health while on vacation?

Your vacation might be your opportunity to let loose, relax and let the worries of everyday life slip away from your mind. Of course, you still need to be cognizant of your health. Aside from healthy choices and avoiding anything that might make you sick, have you thought about your ear and hearing health while on vacation?

The answer for a lot of people is probably no. It’s often not the first thing that comes to mind; however, there are some simple tips you can keep in mind to maintain healthy hearing.

Be mindful of loud noises

The noise, lights and movement of your favorite vacation spot may well be one of the reasons you want to go. Whether there’s a big street event, a festival to celebrate something special, or a concert that you want to attend, there’s a lot of fun noise to expose yourself to. However, you want to make sure that you’re not overexposed.

Any noises over 75dBs in volume can start to cause hearing loss. The louder the noise, the less time it takes for them to cause damage. The average rock concert, for reference, is usually between 90-120dBs in volume. The closer you are to the speakers, the louder the noise your ears are exposed to.

However, you can protect your ears from excessive levels of noise, typically with hearing protection. There are different types, from rubber ear stops to ear muffs that you can wear like a pair of headphones. If you want the most discrete and reusable types, then you can look at custom-molded earplugs. If you regularly enjoy loud hobbies, be it concerts, the shooting range, or driving things like dirt bikes, you should invest in some reusable protection. Your audiologist can help you find the right purchases for you.

Protecting your ears on the plane

When you’re boarding and exiting the plane, the nearby noise of plane engines can be extremely loud. To that end, you might want to make sure that you take some hearing protection for them, as well. They can also be helpful if you want to get some shut-eye on longer flights.

Otherwise, the most common effect that a plane right might have on your ears is what’s known (fittingly enough) as airplane ear. This is that annoying pop that you can feel in your ear partway through your flight, usually when you reach certain altitudes. It’s usually due to a change in pressure and it can be followed by lingering pain, hearing loss and even tinnitus. In some very rare cases, it can cause a ruptured eardrum and maybe even an ear infection. Again, this is very rare.

The best thing you can do is have some chewing gum. Moving your jaw can help you adjust the pressure in your ear more gradually and gently. Hearing protection like noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can help reduce the effects of this experience too. But once again, it’s rarely very harmful, usually just unpleasant.

Swim with care

If you have a swimming pool at your hotel, then it’s only natural that you’ll want to make a splash. However, you shouldn’t just swim anywhere and everywhere. If you are prone to water in the ear, don’t forget to pack your own earplugs to help keep excess liquid from reaching your canals. This can cause ear infections, pain, temporary hearing loss and general discomfort. These are all things you don’t want to deal with on vacation!

This is even more of a potential problem if you go swimming in rivers or anything. You can wear earplugs to prevent contact between your ear and dirty water, but you should know that there’s always a risk. Some infections can cause permanent damage to your ear and irreversible hearing loss, so be mindful.

Are you protecting your ears enough?

Hearing protection is crucial to preserving your hearing ability – whether at home, work or play. If you want to make sure your ears have the protection they need, then you can get more advice and help in selecting the right hearing protection products from your audiologist.

You can learn more about Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C.by looking through the website. If you want to get in touch with us from Lake Jackson, you can call us at 979-292-8501. Anyone closer to our Houston office should call on 713-827-1767. Happy travels and be safe out there!

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Jana Emola-Austin, Au.D.

Raised in Bryan, Texas, Jana completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University before attending the University of North Texas with an ambition to earn her master’s degree in speech pathology. However, a required audiology class soon set her on a new career path. She became enthralled with the subject and says audiology resonated with her because it involved everything she enjoys – helping people to improve their lives and relationships with others and using technology to make positive impacts. Following this revelation, Jana went on to graduate with her Doctor of Audiology degree. After many years of assisting patients in the clinic on a daily basis, Jana’s main responsibilities at Allison Audiology have shifted to a management role. She now works behind the scenes focusing on administrative, management, and marketing responsibilities.