How Can Cold Weather Result in Hearing Loss?
Heading out on a cold winter day can be tiresome since you have to wear so much gear to keep warm. Most people usually tend to skip on getting a beanie cap or earmuffs since they’re in a hurry. Many believe a scarf around the neck will suffice. However, during the cold weather, caring for your ears is a necessity.
Ears are extremely sensitive. Our sense of hearing is entirely dependent on them. Forgetting to look after them in cold weather can result in hearing loss. Based on how bad the damage is, this can even become permanent. You can experience the following conditions if you aren’t caring for your ears:
This condition arises from internal ear damage, particularly to the auditory nerves that are located in the ear. These are responsible for sending signals to your brain which then identifies the sounds you are hearing. When these nerve endings are damaged, they stop sending signals to your brain. This can occur in people of all ages.
Sensorineural deafness typically occurs because of seasonal infections caused during cold weather. Flues and fevers are very common during this weather. In a fever, the blood flow to the nerve endings is drastically reduced which causes an infection. Even if there is no fever, decreased blood pressure can make one more likely to develop ear infections. If you’re not caring for your ears, the infection can become permanent and require an ear implant to correct the damage.
In this condition, the body decides to start caring for your ears against the cold. It does so by causing abnormal growth in the ear canal. In this case, the bones in the ear will also start to thicken which will negatively impact your hearing abilities. Additionally, the ear canal starts to collect a lot of wax since the abnormal growth makes it difficult for it to expel the wax naturally.
The most likely causes of exostosis are exposure to cold winds and water. Repeated infections caused by the abnormal growth can lead to semi-permanent or permanent loss of hearing. A person will also have to undergo surgery to remove the excess growth due to exostosis. Never assume the condition will resolve itself. Exostosis, if left as is, it will worsen and permanently impact hearing abilities.
Caring for Your Ears in Winter
Make it a priority to start caring for your ears during the cold weather. It’s not difficult. Just follow the tips mentioned below:
- Always wear earmuffs or a hat with ear flaps.
- Use sweat wicking material for hats, scarves or ear muffs so moisture does not collect near the ears
- If you’re using hearing aids, make sure to dry them out properly during the night.
- Avoid going for walks, especially on windy days, without protection for your ears.
- If you’re getting an ear infection, follow the treatment outlined by the doctor to make sure it goes away.
By paying attention to these points, you can easily start caring for your ears in a healthy manner during the cold weather.