Does cold weather affect your hearing or hearing aids? As the weather changes, especially during the cold days of winter, it can definitely be a factor. Here is what you should know about winter weather and your hearing health.
Cold Weather and Hearing Loss
Cold weather can cause some trouble for your hearing if you are exposed to very cold temperatures for a prolonged period of time. There are a few specific issues that can become a factor; however protecting your ears from the cold by wearing hats or using ear muffs can help prevent these problems from affecting you..
- Surfer’s Ear: Cold weather can cause a condition called exostosis, commonly known as ‘surfer’s ear’. Surfers are not the only ones subjected to getting this condition, it can affect anyone who is exposed to strong winds, cold water, and cold, damp conditions for long periods of time. These conditions promote abnormal growth on the bones inside the ear canal. The bone growth can block the passage and interfere with hearing as well as cause tinnitus.
- Hardened Ear Wax: When it is very cold outside, if you have ear wax build up, then it can get hardened when exposed to the cold temperatures. This can cause a hardened blockage which can, of course, be uncomfortable in addition to interfering with hearing. Remember not to remove earwax using a cotton swab tip, instead follow our tips for safe earwax removal. However, if you have hardened ear wax, you should see a hearing care professional.
- Increased Risk of Ear Infections: Ear infections are more common in colder temperatures because of a decreased circulation in the ear. If you can limit your exposure to cold weather or protect your ears from the cold, then this can help prevent more ear infections from developing. The less ear infections, the better because the World Health Organization (WHO) lists chronic ear infections as one of the main causes of hearing loss.
Cold Weather and Hearing Aids
If you wear hearing aids, you should definitely limit your exposure to cold temperatures or consider protecting your ears from the cold with ear muffs or a hat that covers your ears. The cold weather can negatively impact the functions of your hearing aids. In addition, inclement weather can cause condensation to build up when you go from the cold into a warm house. The drops of water that can form on the inside of your delicate hearing aids can cause problems for them. This can be mitigated by regularly cleaning your hearing aids and leaving the battery doors open when you are not wearing them. Investing in a hearing aid dryer case is a good idea if you notice this is a common issue for you.
Consult with the Hearing Experts at Kenwood Hearing Center
Whether you are making a New Year’s resolution to keep your hearing healthy or just trying to make the best of dealing with hearing loss, we are here to help. The audiologists at Kenwood Hearing are always available for consultation. Please contact us today and schedule an appointment. The experts at Kenwood Hearing Center are trained to help you and your family with all your hearing healthcare needs.