Have you ever been swimming in a lake or pool and got water in your ear? How about so bad where you can’t get it out and it becomes painful. Swimmer’s Ear, otherwise known as acute external otitis or otitis external, is an infection in the outer ear canal. The outer ear canal runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. The most common cause of swimmer’s ear is bacteria invading the skin inside your ear canal. This occurs when water remains in your ear after swimming. This isn’t infectious between people but infected water in swimming pools or other bodies of water it is most common cause of Swimmer’s Ear.
Usually swimmer’s ear can be treated with ear drops or by tilting the ear towards the ground while gently pulling the earlobe to expel the water. The water should drain out naturally but if it does not, go to your doctor if it has been more than a week. You do not want this to go untreated because hearing complications and infections can occur. Swimming underwater can cause painful pressure changes for people who may have an ear infection. If you happen to have an ear infection with a ruptured ear drum, swimming should be avoided completely until the infection has cleared up.
Musicians need to protect their hearing but also need to be able to hear music clearly whether it is their music or other musicians’ voices and music while performing. Store bought earplugs can be used but sometimes they provide too much protection by muffling sounds. Music and voices can become unclear and maximum protection is not necessary but rather mid to low frequency protection. This can be done with speciality ear plugs designed just for musicians.
Musician ear plugs can be custom or non custom and can reduce sound levels by approximately 20 decibels, enough to reduce sound without distorting music. Ready-fit ear plugs can reduce occlusion, the hollow or boomy sound in the musicians own voice that you may hear when you wear lower quality ear plugs. This ear mold seals within the bony part of the ear canal and are popular with musicians because of the quality of sound they are able to hear while performing.
Ear plugs and swim molds are a great way to prevent swimmer’s ear and protection for musicians. We recommend you visit an audiologist to try on different styles rather than purchase over the counter molds. Before your appointment, the audiologist will ask the patient to clean their ears and remove all potential wax from the ear canals. Custom molds are specialized from waterproof silicone that creates a seal that never allows water past the outer ear. The staff uses putty to make an impression of the ear and once it is hardened the silicone model is made from the patient’s ear shape. These molds will ensure a tight and snug fit in the ear canal. The swim mold is high quality, comfortable and last longer than drugstore plugs. They are reusable and can be washed for better hygiene. The quality of the ear impression material impacts the sound quality, sound isolation and comfort you will need with the ear mold.
Lakeshore Audiology has the ability to craft custom ear molds to meet any of your needs. Call us today at 716-674-4188 to make an appointment with an audiologist to get custom molds made for your ears.
Article adapted from: https://hearingsolutioncenter.com/musicians-earplugs-and-earmolds