How the Winter Cold Can Affect Your Hearing

December 13, 2018 11:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When the weather gets cold, everyone knows to protect their bodies with winter coats, hats and gloves. Not as much attention is paid to the effects that the cold can have on your hearing, however, and as a result the necessary steps aren’t always taken to make sure that your ears remain protected as well. Here are three of the most common ways that the cold weather could lead to potential hearing loss in Salinas, CA, along with some tips to help you avoid these troubles:

  • Hardened ear wax: Hardened ear wax is one of the most common symptoms of excessive exposure to freezing temperatures, as it can cause blockages within the ear canal that could inhibit hearing. If this hardened wax begins to back up too much, hearing could temporarily be lost altogether. The good news is that hardened ear wax can be removed, but you will want to act quickly. For less severe cases, inserting baby oil or hydrogen peroxide into your ear canal with an eye dropper works well to break down the wax. When the wax has softened after a couple of days, gently squirt warm water into your ear to clear out the wax, and then irrigate fully. Avoid the use of cotton swabs, as these will only serve to push the wax deeper into your ear.
  • Restricted airflow: Your ear creates excess wax in an attempt to shield you from the cold, but this surplus of fluid could build up and quickly lead to a troublesome ear infection. Your glands might also swell to protect your body from the infection, which could lead to even more blockage. To avoid additional troubles that are the result of sinus backup, make sure to keep your ears, neck and throat covered every time you go outside, and pick up some over-the-counter sinus medicine to aid drainage.
  • Surfer’s ear: Ear exostosis, commonly referred to as surfer’s ear, is also prevalent during the winter. As your ears try to create a barrier against the cold temperatures, additional bones may begin to grow on existing bones, or excessive wax will build up to block the normal auditory path. Although you might not be doing any surfing this time of year, long-term damage can occur if you are not ensuring that your ears are protected from the cold and moisture in the winter air. Those who wear hearing aids will want to pay extra attention to the amount of moisture that collects in their ears, as additional sweat and condensation are prone to build up around the device.

To avoid these hearing troubles and fend off long-term hearing loss in Salinas, CA, it is imperative that you are keeping your ears protected all winter long. Our team at Valley Hearing Center – Salinas can help you learn more about the best methods of protection for your ears, so that you are able to enjoy all your favorite winter activities without having to worry about the damage the cold could cause. Give us a call to make your appointment today so we can keep you protected all season long.

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