Summer is here, and as it is traditionally the hottest time of the year, people are often participating in water activities, especially when on vacation. And if you are not careful, water can sometimes get trapped in your ears, which can cause an ear infection and even lead to sudden hearing loss. That is why it is important, in instances like these, to remove as much water as possible from your ears in order to avoid any hearing health problems.
Water can remain trapped in the ear for any number of reasons, including a narrow ear canal or because it’s trapped by something inside the ear canal, such as excessive earwax or another foreign object.
To prevent water from getting trapped in your ears, you can wear over-the-counter earplugs, or talk to your hearing care professional about acquiring a set of custom earplugs designed for use in the water. These plugs may be more expensive than the typical foam ear plugs purchased at the drugstore; however, they can be custom-fit your ears and are washable and reusable. Visit your local hearing care professional for more information.
Most of the time, your ears will secrete a waxy, water repellent-type substance known as cerumen (more commonly known as earwax) in order to reduce water from getting trapped. If and when water gets trapped in your ears, bacteria may begin to grow which can cause swimmer’s ear. This is more likely to happen in wet and humid conditions, if you have scratches or abrasions inside the ear canal, or if you have reactions from allergies and skin conditions.
Initial symptoms of swimmer’s ear may be mild and include:
If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor immediately, especially if water has been stuck in your ears for more than a few days. Your doctor may then recommend you to see a hearing care professional.
*If these techniques don’t work or if you feel pain or develop a fever, contact a medical professional immediately.
If you’d like to speak with one of our experienced hearing care professionals, please request an appointment or contact us today. At Clear Wave Hearing Center, we are here to help you with all your hearing needs.
As a company focused on care, our team at Clear Wave Hearing Center is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our customers and staff. Together with our communities, we pledge to do everything we can to ensure you have a safe visit as we honor our mission to help people hear better.