All Things Ear Safety with SwimEars
Lots of thoughts go through a Bluetit's head when they're preparing to take the plunge. "Do I have my towel all laid out ready for when I get out?" "Gosh those cakes look good." "It looks bloomin' cold in there!"
Something you may not think about, however, is your ears. If you're putting your head in the water, swimming in chilly winds or regularly getting splashed, either by waves or fellow 'Tits, then your ears might be feeling the effects.
We've partnered with our favourite earplug brand SwimEars to raise awareness about all things ear safety, so over to Sam from SwimEars to tell you more.
If you want to get your hands on a pair of SwimEars, they're offering a whopping 40% discount (that's £18 off!) to Bluetit Discount Card Holders. Find out more about the Bluetit Discount Card here.
"As a swimmer or dipper, taking care of your ears is crucial for your overall health and well-being in the water. Exposing your ears to the water, especially cold and dirty water can have many negative effects on your ears, leading to a range of problems. Many of these problems can take time to develop, so many swimmer’s and dippers often overlook ear protection in the water until it’s too late. If you’re swimming or dipping regularly, ear protection and earplugs should definitely be an essential part of your swimming kit.
Ear infections are a very common problem for swimmers, and they can be caused by various factors, including exposing yourself to cold and dirty water, having water remain in your ears after swimming, or using unclean and ineffective equipment whilst swimming. Swimmer's ear is a common ear infection that affects the ear canal's outer layer and causes inflammation and pain. Symptoms can include redness, itching, discharge, and difficulty hearing. Most swimmers can feel when Swimmer’s ear or another infection is beginning to develop within their ears, which means they should remain out of the water until it has cleared up. In bad cases of Swimmer’s ear and other infections, antibiotic drops are usually recommended and longer times out of the water are needed. The best defense to Swimmer’s Ear is to keep the water out of your ears. To achieve this you can either do two things, stay out of the water, or use earplugs!
Surfer's ear is another common condition that affects the ears of regular swimmer’s and dippers, and don’t let the name fool you, it not only affects the ears of surfers. Surfer's ear, also known as exostosis, is a condition where bony growths develop within the ear canal. These growths occur due to prolonged exposure to water and wind, and are more common in swimmers who spend a lot of time in colder water conditions in the open ocean, lakes and rivers. Unlike Swimmer’s ear, Surfer’s ear worsens over many years, and many swimmer’s don’t even know they are developing it, until the bone growths have reached a severe level. The bony growths can block the ear canal, leading to hearing loss and increased risk of ear infections. A sign that one has Surfer’s ear is having water trapped in their ears after swimming and constant ear infections. The only way to remove the bony growths is through an invasive surgery, but this will only happen in severe cases. Once again the key to avoiding Surfer’s ear is to not let water and wind enter your ears, meaning you can either stay out of the water or wear earplugs!
More information about Swimmer’s ear and Surfer’s ear here: https://swimears.com/blogs/news/do-you-really-know-what-swimmers-ear-and-surfers-ear-are
For regular swimmers to maintain good ear health in and out of the water, then there is no doubt that earplugs are essential. The best defense against infections, Swimmer’s ear and Surfer’s ear is to wear earplugs. It is also helpful to dry the inside of your ears out after each swimming session with a clean cloth or towel, or use alcohol cleansing ear drops. It is also important to ensure that you use quality earplugs that work effectively. Cheap and ineffective earplugs can often do more harm than good, so it is worth spending a little more money on a good pair of earplugs that will do the right job! Higher quality earplugs are usually much more durable, which is both better for you in the long run and the environment. At Bluetits we are lucky enough to partner with SwimEars, who make the most effective earplugs in the game. Not only do Swimears effectively keep the water out, they also let sound in! Many swimmers are usually turned away from earplugs because they can't hear their surroundings and fellow swimmers. With SwimEars you can have your ears protected effectively but still maintain a great level of hearing and situational awareness. They also come with 4 interchangeable sizes to ensure a comfortable and secure fit for everyone.
If you’re a regular swimmer or dipper, we highly recommend you get yourself a pair of quality earplugs, because you never know when an ear infection or worse will strike, which means time out of the water and nobody wants that!"