You may enjoy winter, but your ears probably don’t. For one, your ears don’t have as much fat protecting them as the rest of your body. This lack of insulation, we’ll call it, exposes the nerves inside your ear to the cold. It explains why they usually hurt as temperatures begin to drop. This is also why they tend to feel pain when you spend a lot of time outdoors in cold weather without ear protection. Throw in rain and wind, and you’ve got a recipe for more irritation.
Cold weather can even trigger tinnitus, that infamous ringing of the ears, and damage hearing aids if you’re already wearing them. But something the cold weather can do so perfectly is its ability to make your ears more vulnerable to infection. Such a thoughtful season, that winter. All of this can significantly impact your hearing.
Here’s the good news: you can protect your ears in those cold winter months easily. Here’s how to look after your hearing this winter.
Watch the weather forecast and avoid going out on the coldest days. Air temperature is lowest in the morning, so it makes sense to wait to go out until the sun warms things up.
Exostosis is when bone abnormally grows in your ear due to excessive cold. The result is a blocked eardrum, muted hearing, and potential infection. Always wear a scarf, hat, and earmuffs when out in the cold.
The sound of snow and leaf blowers can easily exceed 100 decibels. That’s loud enough to damage your ears. If you need to use a noisy device to keep your house or garden clear, think about wearing noise-reducing headphones, earplugs, or some rather fetching ear muffs!
Condensation is the enemy when it comes to hearing aids in winter. To protect yours, wipe them down from time to time and open the battery door so they can dry out. A dehumidifier also helps dry them faster (we sell these at all of our clinics for your convenience).
At a time when your ears are particularly prone to infection, it pays to boost your immune system. Eat healthily, stay active, and sleep. If you develop an ear infection or get a seemingly endless cold, speak to your GP or get in touch with us.
There’s no stopping a cold winter, but your ears don’t have to go through it alone. Protect your ears, and your hearing, by following the tips above.
Contact us today for winter hearing tips, ear wax removal or hearing assessments.
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