Holiday health advice to protect sight and hearing

Aimee Alpersleuin, Hearing Dept, Cruises Street, Limerick with Roo Kolli Picture Brendan Gleeson

WHETHER you’re planning on soaking up the sun abroad or simply making the most of the Irish summer, it’s important to look after your eyes and ears.
That’s why Specsavers Audiology chairperson, Martina McNulty, and Specsavers Ireland chairman, Kerril Hickey, are sharing advice on how to stop your holiday being ruined by common sight and hearing problems.
When flying, the temperature and pressure-controlled plane cabin can easily dehydrate your eyes. Applying some eye drops is a good idea to help with lubrication. Drinking plenty of water can also help prevent dehydration.
Air pressure changes during take off and landing can also cause ears to ‘pop’ which can often cause severe pain and hearing loss. Ms McNulty explains: “A simple solution is to introduce as much air as possible to the ear via swallowing or yawning. Sucking on a hard boiled sweet, chewing gum or drinking through a straw during take-off and landing all help.”
UV rays can damage our vision as well as our skin, warns Mr Hickey. “Sunglasses are not just fashion accessories – It’s particularly important that you wear a good pair that offer high levels of UV protection.
“Sunglasses don’t need to be expensive, but they should always conform to agreed safety standards. Look out for a CE (European Community Standard) or UV400 markings and aim for a pair that offer 80 percent light reduction.”
Specsavers also advise people to apply sun cream to their ears, and to use a sensitive sun cream suitable for eyelids. Wearing a wide brimmed hat can also help to prevent sunburn.
Extra care should also be taken while swimming for anyonesusceptible to ear infections or swimmer’s ear.
Martina says: “Swimmer’s ear is an inflammation of the external ear canal that can often lead to an infection. It occurs when water becomes trapped in the ear, most often as a result of swimming. The best way to avoid it is to wear ear plugs and always steer clear of polluted or dirty water to avoid infection.”
 Swimmers are also advised to opt for prescription swimming goggles instead of wearing contact lenses while swimming, due to the risk of infection.
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