Spring is finally here but are your ears ready?
Spring is one of our favourite seasons but did you know that most middle ear infections occur in spring? With the weather getting warmer, most of us want to move outdoors and enjoy the sun after a dark winter. But, spring also brings rain, a shift in temperatures and seasonal allergies. These erratic seasonal changes can wreak havoc on our allergies, our sinuses and even our ears and hearing.
How does spring affect our hearing?
With spring come higher temperatures, barometric pressure changes but also pollen which means allergies for many people with symptoms such as itchy eyes, nasal congestion as well as ear infections and even hearing loss. Pollen, for example, and the related allergies, often trigger our middle ear to produce more mucus which can block the ears and may result in a reduction in hearing, infections and sometimes even damage to the ear. Typically, this is more common in children as for their less developed Eustachian tubes.
How to look after your ears in spring
If you are experiencing any changes in your hearing, feel pressure in your ears or have pain, please see your GP or an ENT specialist to ensure the problem isn’t anything more serious.
But, generally, a healthy lifestyle will contribute to keeping your ears happy and healthy. Part of that is a healthy diet as food is essential for ear health and our capacity to hear. Wonder what to eat? Then read our earlier post to find out.
Low to moderate exercise can also help to maintain fluid movement which may combat stuffy ears. Allergy-induced middle ear fluid might also be relieved by using antihistamines or decongestants.
Here are some more tips to reduce allergy symptoms during spring and preventing ear issues:
- Pollen count is the highest in the morning and in the evening, try avoid being outside then. Also, after airing your home, please keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen or dust building up.
- Be extra careful if you have a hearing aid since the combination of pollen, humidity and higher temperatures may clog the microphone ports and can cause them to stop working.
- If you notice any hearing loss, dizziness or pain please see a GP or an ENT specialist immediately.
- As always, look to take good care of your ears, specifically of your ear canal.
- Watch out for water as Swimmer’s ear, also known as Otitis Externa, is a painful yet common condition during the spring and summer months. Always dry your ears thoroughly with a towel after leaving the water. Otherwise, water may be trapped in your ear which can cause bacteria to nest causing infections. Alternatively, use EarPro to prevent water from getting trapped in your ears in the first place. You can find more information here.
- Last but not least, try to avoid sudden changes in temperature and please do not overuse air conditioning.
And then there is ‘Juvenile spring eruption’…
This is a bit of a weird one and not many people know this condition. Juvenile spring eruption is a skin condition – an allergy to the sun with colder spring weather probably also playing role – appearing on the light-exposed skin of the ears. Boys are more often affected as they usually have less hair covering their ears. Typically, juvenile spring eruption occurs in spring and consists of itchy red small lumps which typically heal without any longterm impact. The appearance of the rash comes after 8 hours to two days after exposure to the sun and takes about 2 weeks to fully heal. The condition is treated with medication such as steroids.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!
Photo by Serafima Lazarenko on Unsplash – thanks!