The changing of the seasons means it’s time to put away your shorts and pull out your coats. It also means you need to take some precautions to protect your ears. We review how to prevent damage and protect your ears below.
Cover Your Ears
The outer ears are comprised mostly of cartilage, which means there’s minimal fat to insulate them against cold weather. When exposed to the cold, your blood vessels in the ears constrict to help stay warm. This can cause discomfort and leave you vulnerable to infections and exostoses, which is a bony grown on the ear that can form due to exposure to cold and wind. To prevent these conditions, cover your ears with earmuffs.
Whether there’s moisture in the air or you’re an avid fall and winter swimmer or surfer, you also need to keep your ears dry to prevent infection. Don’t use cotton swabs to do this – instead, dry your ears with a towel or run a hair dryer on the lowest, coolest setting directed at your ear.
Remove Impacted Earwax
Cold weather can also cause your earwax to harden, so it can’t work its way out of the ears through natural jaw movements anymore. Again, do not try cotton swabs to remove it. You should apply over-the-counter eardrops to soften the wax, then irrigate your ear canals with warm water in the shower. If this does not remove the wax, visit a professional at The House Institute Hearing Health Centers to get it removed safety and effectively.
Care for Your Hearing Aids
Like your ears, your hearing aids can also be harmed by cold, damp weather. When possible, stay indoors while it’s cold and wet, or wear a rain jacket with a hood when you do have to venture out. Invest in a dehumidifier to store your devices in at night so they don’t get damaged by moisture.
To learn more about how cold weather can affect your ears and hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with an expert, call The House Institute Hearing Health Centers today.