Hearing This Winter

The Best Ways to Protect Your Hearing This Winter

The cold weather season is such a magical time filled with opportunities to revisit those wonderful memories you’ve made over the years, as well as create new ones with your family and friends.  Taking the grandkids ice skating or walking with them through a winter wonderland outside may be on your to-do list, so you should keep in mind how vulnerable your ears are to the cold, especially if you wear hearing devices. Here are the best ways to protect your hearing AND hearing devices this winter.

Wear Protective Layers

Cold weather can cause quite a few problems with your ears if protective layers of clothing aren’t worn to protect you. In the colder months, hats, scarves, and earmuffs end up being much more than just fashion accessories. They can be the one thing that protects you from issues that can arise from troublesome temperatures.

Forgetting your wool hat in cold, windy weather can also cause a common condition known as exostosis. Exostosis, also called Surfers Ear, is an overgrowth of bone in the ear canal resulting from excessive exposure to extreme cold and wet conditions. As the ear canal narrows, the wax can no longer get out, which causes buildup. Ear pain, infection, and hearing loss are all symptoms of exostosis. It is reversible but unfortunately requires surgical treatment to completely remedy. Prevention is your best bet for combating exostosis.

 Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Are you one of the millions of Americans that deal with tinnitus? In colder temperatures, the body redirects blood to keep your internal organs warm and maintain your normal body temperature. This leaves extremities such as fingers, toes, ears, and noses with much less circulation than they require to stay protected. This lack of oxygenation of the tissue not only can create tinnitus – but can also worsen it.

In the extreme temperatures of the season, you also need to remember to protect your hearing devices from the cold weather. Here are a few tips to keep those hearing devices working their best in the cold weather:

  • Always remove your hearing aids before participating in any outdoor activities like skiing or ice skating to avoid unnecessary exposure.
  • Consider carrying a few extra hearing aid batteries with you in case the extreme temperatures cause your hearing device to drain them faster than usual.
  • Remember to keep your devices dry at all times by wearing things like earmuffs, hats, and scarves, and also by wiping away excess moisture on the outer shell and battery compartment.
  • Consider using a hearing aid dehumidifier at night to help dry your devices out thoroughly.

In the cold days ahead, just remember to keep bundled up. Keep both your ears and hearing devices in top shape by keeping them clean, dry, and as protected as possible. Most of all, enjoy this time of year and all the family, friends, and happiness it brings!

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