It’s summertime, which for many means it’s time for a swim! Children who have problems with their ears would normally be recommended with wearing earplugs. Does your child need them? Which ones work the best?
Determining whether Your Child needs Earplugs
The ears are prone to getting water stuck inside the canals, so it’s important to wear earplugs:
Other children may be advised to regularly use earplugs while diving or swimming in untreated water, like lakes, rivers, and oceans. Wearing plugs can help prevent bacteria from going into the ear canals.
Should Earplugs be Worn in Chlorinated Water?
Generally, earplugs are unnecessary for most children when going into treated water, like a public swimming pool. Although, there is one exception. If you have a child, or grandchild, who wears tubes in their ears and prefers swimming in the deep end, they should wear earplugs. When diving and swimming in deeper water, the pressure intensifies in your ears and water could seep into them.
If you, or any children in your family, are on a swim team and often get water stuck in the ears, it’s always a good idea to wear earplugs for preventative measures.
If a child wears ear tubes, earplugs should also be worn whenever the ears become submerged in soapy water during baths. Soap acts as a lubricant, which lessens surface tension and allows water to enter the tubes.
Is it Safe to Swim when You have an Ear Infection?
Swimming underwater can lead to pressure changes that cause pain for any child with an ear infection. If an ear infection with a ruptured eardrum (A.K.A. ruptured acute otitis media) occurs, DO NOT swim or submerge yourself underwater until the infection goes away.
Swim Earplug Styles
You can choose between two styles of earplugs: custom-fit plugs and one-size-fits-all swim plugs. They are both capable of keeping your ears dry, but based on your personal preferences there are advantages and disadvantages. A hearing healthcare provider can help you get the right kind for you and your child.
Customized Earplugs for Swimming
A custom-fit earplug used for swimming would need to be ordered through a hearing instrument specialist. The great things about these customized earplugs are the excellent comfort, quality, and durability compared to cheap drugstore earplugs. You can wash and reuse them, which is more hygienic, cuts down on waste, and saves you money.
These earplugs are a little pricier. They are sometimes easy to misplace and cost more to replace as opposed to a pair from your local drugstore. You may wear a swim ear band to help prevent them from falling out and losing them.
Plugs that are One-Size-Fits All
There is the option of purchasing a one-size-fits-all earplug that can be purchased from any drugstore, online, and even at a local hearing aid business like Pure Sound Hearing. These can be made from foam, silicon, or putty material. It’s convenient to find them and cheaper than a custom swim earplug. If you lose them, it’s easy and less costly to replace. A custom fitting is unnecessary for these plugs, and they are available in bright colors so that they are easy to find in just about any environment. Kids can put them in on their own.
These earplugs are generally not washable, which makes them unhygienic. They tend to get disposed of after one or two uses, due to debris and earwax buildup. If you use swimming earplugs that are made out of putty, there’s a chance that small pieces of putty could get stuck to your ears after removing the earplugs. One-size-fits-all silicone plugs are washable, so you can feel safer about preventing ear infections.
If you, or a loved one, need hearing aids or other hearing care solutions, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for guidance towards better and safer hearing.