How The Cold Weather Affects Hearing

During the winter months, the fashion starts to change in correspondence to the frigid weather. Clothes for this particular season are now designed to provide warmth to the body in order to stave off possible illnesses that come with these temperatures. But many are unaware of the effects of cold to the ears, and the need to protect them during these times of the year.

Surfer’s Ear

Why surfer’s ear? You’re probably wondering, “We’re supposed to be talking about protection from the cold weather, but now we’re discussing a sport you can’t do in chilly conditions.” Turns out, you don’t need to be surfing or even in summer to get it.

Surfer’s ear, also known as “exostosis,” can be brought about by freezing temperatures. When you fail to provide the protection it needs, your ears try to safeguard themselves by constructing a barrier through the bones around the ear canal. Ironically, this creates hearing problems. Due to this obstruction, hearing loss develops and earwax becomes trapped.

If your ears sense this, earwax production is halted, causing infection. This is dubbed as the surfer’s ear because these wave-loving beach bums are the usual victims. It’s because of the lengthy exposure to the cold waters of the sea.

The treatment of this is achieved through surgery. Left alone, the ears will not improve its state by itself. So, as soon as possible, have this addressed by a specialist.

Signs of Exostosis:

  • Ringing in the ears, which is also known as “tinnitus”
  • Pain
  • A loss, or decreased ability in hearing
  • Ears are or have been exposed to cold


As stated a while ago, we all know that with the cold climate, infections start to proliferate. These infections could make its way to the inner ear causing sensorineural hearing loss. Make sure every part of your body is secured from the frosty winds brought by the season, and your immune system is strong enough to avoid infections altogether.


Just when you thought you had enough to worry about, there’s one more thing. Earwax could possibly harden due whenever exposed to the cold. The chances of this happening increases when you insert things in your ear such as earphones.

Severe earwax build-up will require professional cleaning. It’s highly discouraged to try and achieve this yourself with the use of earbuds, or other items. that should not be shoved within your inner ear. It might cause damage to your eardrums or it could push up the earwax further inside, increasing the blockage.

When dealing with cold weather wear the essential garments to keep you cozy and invest in protection for your ears. There are a variety of products to choose from that could suit your style. Make sure though that whatever you choose, it is effectively keeping your ears warm, and not just make a choice solely because of its visually appealing look.  

Have your ears checked mid winter a few times to be certain of your hearing health. Remember to only see a properly trained specialist that’s licensed. Call Beltone Audiology at (888) 210-5846.