Even though you may be itching to take that much-needed vacation, you have probably never thought about what it might do to your ears. But, with so many sensational news stories about the effects of plane travel on hearing, who wouldn’t worry a little? The best way to stay safe while enjoying yourself is by taking precautions beforehand and following some basic rules during your time away.
Why You Should Look After Your Ears on Vacation
First and foremost, using hearing protection while on vacation is a matter of safety. After all, if your hearing is diminished, you might miss a crucial safety warning. That could put you and your travel companions at risk. Beyond that, looking after your hearing while on vacation is simply a matter of self-care. Of course, all of us want to be able to enjoy our vacation to the fullest, but we don’t want to cause issues later in life unnecessarily.
To help you do just that, here are three things you should do if you plan on spending time in an airplane or around other noisy places during your travels.
Wear Ear Protection While You Travel
Airplanes are notoriously noisy. That, along with the fact that you’re likely to be tired and stressed from traveling, means that your ears are at particular risk. To ensure that doesn’t happen, use hearing protection while on the plane.
The best choice for this is earplugs. They’re practical, comfortable, easy to use and they’re also reusable. However, you’ll have to be a little more careful about your ear protection if you’re taking a train, bus or other public transportation. Depending on the vehicle, you may be able to wear earplugs, but you may also find that those are not permitted.
In that case, you’ll have to consider another form of protection. Namely, noise-cancelling headphones. These are ideal for travel as they block unwanted sound and allow you to listen to your own music or audiobooks without anyone else hearing it.
Stay Hydrated and Get Plenty of Rest
If you’re traveling by plane, train or another mode of transportation, you’ll spend a lot of time in close quarters with other travelers. That means you’ll be exposed to a lot of noise and germs. To keep your ears healthy in those conditions, ensure you stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Water and sleep are vital to maintaining your immune system, which, in turn, is your ears’ first line of defense against germs.
Beyond that, make sure you don’t overdo it when it comes to noise exposure. For example, while traveling, you might find yourself in situations where it’s difficult to avoid noise. Namely, you might find yourself in a busy hotel with noisy neighbors or a bustling tourist destination. In those cases, try your best to avoid or limit noise exposure.
Make Sure Your Ear Protection is Fresh and New
All of this assumes that you’re using fresh and new ear protection. You may be doing more harm than good if you’re not. That’s because when earplugs and other forms of ear protection get old, they can actually start to degrade your hearing. To ensure you’re using fresh ear protection, keep an eye on the expiration date on the packaging. Also, make sure you’re cleaning your ear protection regularly.
What To do If You Experience Hearing Loss
If you experience hearing loss, there’s no need to panic. That loss could be temporary and related to several factors. For example, you could have an infection in your ear that’s causing you to lose hearing. If the cause is something else, like exposure to loud noise, your hearing loss won’t be immediate.
In fact, it may take several days or even weeks before you notice any hearing loss. However, you should still make sure you get checked out by an audiologist. Because if you experience hearing loss, it’s essential that you have it checked out as soon as possible.
An experienced audiologist can determine why you’re experiencing hearing loss through a simple assessment. Beyond that, they can also work with you to get the best treatment and ongoing support possible. This includes going through hearing aid options and other routes that may be available to you.
Overall, protecting your ears while on vacation is essential. With so many ways to damage your ears while traveling, you must take precautions to keep your hearing healthy. By following the tips above, you can protect your hearing while still experiencing everything that makes vacations so exciting.
Alliance Center for Hearing has over 30 years of combined experience treating hearing disorders. So, if you’re experiencing hearing loss or simply have some unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (701) 401-9719.