Most people might not associate cold weather with hearing loss. However, when the temperature drops and the weather gets cold, a person’s hearing could be in big jeopardy. How does cold air affect a person’s hearing? Check out these facts below.
Cold Weather and Your Ears
When exposed to cold a person can develop exostosis, which causes abnormal bone growth of the ear canal. This condition has also become known as “surfers ear,” since they frequently come in to contact with cold water and low temperatures in their line of work. Exostosis can lead to hearing loss (temporary or permanent), a higher risk of ear infection, and issues removing water from the ear. Additionally, those with exostosis often develop tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing in one or both ears.
In addition to this abnormal bone growth, the earwax in your ear can harden. This common defense mechanism is your body’s way of protecting your ear canal from the frigid temperatures. As a result, you may suffer from hearing loss due to the blockage.
Protect Your Ears Against the Cold Weather
When it comes to protecting your ears against cold weather, doctors recommend that you consider limiting your exposure to freezing temperatures. However, if you must venture outside, it is advised that you wear something to cover your ears such as a scarf, winter hat, earmuffs, or hood.
Additionally, there is some extra care you must take if you wear hearing aids. Since hearing aids can cause wax to build up in your because your body perceives them as a foreign object, you should keep your ears covered if you will be exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods of time. Don’t allow your hearing aids to get wet. If they do get wet, make sure to remove them and get dry them off as soon as possible. Keep your ears dry as possible because wet ears tend to lead to more of an infection. Moisture from the cold can also impact your hearing as well. Ultimately, you should make sure to keep your ears protected, dry and shielded from the effects of cold weather and hearing loss.
For more information about what you can do to protect your ears from the cold, contact our team today.