The cold weather is not good for your ears, hearing, or hearing aids. It is important to protect your ears and take proper care of them and your hearing aids (if you wear any) during the cold winter months. We have some winter hearing healthcare tips so that you can enjoy outdoor winter activities without risking damage to your hearing or hearing aids.
Winter Hearing Healthcare Tips
As the winter firmly sets in, most of us know how the cold weather can affect our health. Colds and sniffles are more common during the colder months. We know keeping ourselves warm, dry and hydrated can help avoid the winter cold.
One thing we often fail to consider is how the cold weather can affect our ears or hearing.
Dangers of Winter Weather for Your Ears or Hearing
Exposure, especially extended exposure to cold winter weather can cause problems for both your ears and your hearing. If you don’t protect your ears, then you might be subjecting them to an increased risk of ear infections, hardened ear wax, or surfer’s ear. Ear infections are common in cold weather, but if they become a chronic problem, it can lead to hearing loss.
Ear wax can become hardened if buildup is exposed to cold weather. This can become very uncomfortable and interfere with hearing. If you have hardened ear wax, seek help from a hearing care professional or doctor to have it removed.
Surfer’s Ear is the common term for exostosis. It got its name because surfer’s are prone to this condition but it can affect anyone who is exposed to strong winds, cold water, and cold, damp conditions for long periods of time. People with surfer’s ear have abnormal growth of the bones inside the ear canal which can cause hearing problems.
Protecting Your Ears from the Cold
Most of these problems can be avoided if you protect your ears from the cold, wind, and moisture. This includes wearing hats, earmuffs, or something warm over your ears when you are outside. If they do get cold, don’t use warm water to heat them up. Instead try massaging them or keeping earmuffs or a hat on until they warm up. Finally, keep your ears as dry as possible.
Hearing Aid Care in Winter
If you wear hearing aids, you might need to take a few extra steps to care for them in winter if you live in a very cold or windy environment. Just like in summer, try to keep your hearing aids as dry as possible and let them air out overnight. A dryer or dehumidifier case is a great idea. If your hearing aids get too cold, do not use any type of heat source on them, let them warm up normally. For more hearing aid maintenance tips, click here.
If you would like any further information on protecting your hearing this winter, please book in an appointment. The hearing healthcare professionals at Family Audiology would be happy to talk. Call us on 607-323-4061 or click here to book a consultation with us online.