How Can You Protect Your Hearing this Winter
Besides cold ears, exposure to the cold can cause other issues that are sometimes dangerous for our ears. For example, the cold can lead to bone spurs developing, also known as exostosis. This occurs when bone grows in your ear canal to protect your ear from the cold. This extra growth can lead to hearing difficulties from blockage. So how do you enjoy the cold weather and activities without jeopardizing your ears? Here are three ways to protect your hearing this winter.
1. Keep Your Ears Dry and Warm
Your ears contain hardly any insulation from fat, so they get cold quickly and are easily impacted by moisture getting inside. To avoid infections that can hurt your hearing, make sure you always keep your ears dry when you're outside or after a shower. You also want to keep them warm to avoid ear wax hardening or exostosis, especially if you are doing cold-weather activities like snowboarding. Ways to keep your ears warm include wearing:
- High-quality earmuffs
- Hats with snug-fitting flaps over the ears
- Fleece headbands covering your ears
2. Manage Volume Levels
A common reason people experience hearing difficulties is frequent exposure to loud noises. While staying indoors watching television or using your electronic devices, make sure to turn down the volume. If you need to go outside and use a leaf blower or similar garden equipment, be careful to do so only in short bursts and while wearing protective earplugs and earmuffs. Avoid using headphones and earbuds playing music while you do activities.
3. Provide Extra Hearing Aid Care
If you wear hearing aids, taking extra care of them is essential during the winter because the cold and wet weather can damage them. You will also want to check the batteries more often since they can drain easier in the cold. Shield your hearing aids from any snow or rain moisture since this can damage the computer inside them. You can wear the ear warmers suggested previously or use a hearing aid sleeve to cover them. If your hearing aids get wet, dry them immediately with a soft towel. It is also best to remove the battery and leave them exposed overnight to ensure the insides dry out properly.
On top of the things you usually do to maintain healthy hearing, these three additional ways can ensure you enjoy your winter. If you are experiencing hearing difficulties, contact your hearing specialist here at Hearing + Wellness Hale, today.