This Friday begins the month of August, which continues to be, without a doubt, the vacation month for the majority of people in our country. Vacations that also, in most cases, have to do with plane trips and bathing in the beach and pool, practices that, if minimal precautions are not taken, can end up damaging our ears and affecting our long-awaited days of relaxation and fun. The data is illustrative: the number of people treated for ear infections almost doubles during the summer season. Therefore, we suggest that you take care of your ears in summer by following these four recommendations.
Beach, pool…and otitis
The main risk to our ears during the summer is called otitis externa or swimmer’s ear. It is an infection of the external auditory canal caused by the entry of fungi or bacteria, and which occurs when the ears are exposed to excessive and continuous humidity, that is, when diving or swimming with the head under water. This condition, more common in children and young people, causes pain, inflammation, itching and discharge in the ear. It is advisable to go quickly to the otorhinolaryngologist; When treated correctly by the doctor, it normally disappears after 7 to 10 days. A possible solution is the use of bath plugs (called catamarans), which seal the canal and the pinna of the ear and protect it from possible infections. Another essential preventive action is to dry the ears well with the tip of the towel or a cloth after each bath (whether this occurs in public places or in the bathtub or shower at home.
Be careful on the plane…and in the car
To get to our vacation destination we may travel by plane. If so, be especially careful with takeoff and landing, which can affect our ears, since the Eustachian tubes try to regulate the pressure of the air that enters the ear canal so that it is not damaged, which causes us a annoying sensation in our ears. To facilitate this process and reduce this uncomfortable discomfort, it is useful to yawn, exhale air through the nose or chew gum. Therefore, it is better not to fall asleep either on landing or takeoff. And if we go by car, the danger is in the air currents: having the car window down while driving increases the risk of contracting infections such as otitis, due to excess air in the ear canal.
The risk of lowering the temperature of the conditioning too much
Yes, because if we cool the environment too much we can cause the appearance of otitis media, an infection that is more common during the winter months.
And no cotton swabs
If you notice blockage in the ears, you should avoid using cotton swabs. And contrary to popular belief, the use of these elements can end up blocking the ear canal, worsening the blockage and causing infections, such as otitis, to occur.