Brrr, it’s getting cold outside! The arrival of longer nights and colder weather can be a stressful time for people who suffer from tinnitus. A tinnitus ear specialist in Omaha, NE will tell you that it’s not uncommon for people to get tinnitus flare ups during the fall and winter months. Our audiologists explain why and what you can do to manage your symptoms.
When someone suffers from tinnitus, the ringing can often feel random, but most of the time it is actually due to an internal or external factor. These spikes are different for everyone, but some common reasons for tinnitus spikes are stress, sleep deprivation, allergies, and specific changes in the weather.
Cold weather can be hard on ears, which have virtually no fat to protect them from the elements. This can lead to aches and pains with exposure to low temperatures and blustery winds. The winter weather can also dry out mucous membranes, causing congestion and ear fullness, and possibly exacerbating tinnitus. Plus, more people develop colds in the winter, and increased tinnitus commonly occurs with upper respiratory infections.
Luckily, there are some tips recommended by a tinnitus ear specialist in Omaha, NE that can help you not to suffer every winter.
Preventing and treating winter tinnitus
Protective gear: This is the first step in protecting your ears from the cold. Wearing something warm around your ear like earmuffs, a hat, or a scarf keeps them safe.
Clean your ears: If you have excess wax that develops, it is important to try and clean it out. While you should never use a q-tip to clean out your ears, there are some over-the-counter drops you can use to soften your ear wax and flush it out. However, this should be done with caution. Never be afraid to make an appointment with your audiologist to clean out tricky, hardened wax.
Hearing aids: If you have hearing aids, make sure that you are wearing them. This can be a top treatment option as it helps improve overall hearing and reduces the perception of ringing. While you are wearing your hearing aids, it is also important that you keep them clean because aids that are clogged with wax will not work the way that they are supposed to.
Treat the originating problem: If you know that your tinnitus worsens when you don’t get eight hours of sleep, then try to do so each night. If you are stressed, find an activity that brings you joy and provides stress relief. If you have a cold, drink plenty of fluids, rest, and take any prescribed medication. Addressing the source of the problem can help prevent spikes.
Visit with a professional: A professional audiologist can determine if your tinnitus is caused by hearing loss with a hearing test. Not only that, but audiologists trained in tinnitus retraining therapy can use a combination of sound therapy and counseling to help manage symptoms. The process helps alter the brain's neural signals and weakens the perception of ringing in your ears.
Are you looking for an audiologist and ear specialist in Omaha, NE? We have two of them! Make an appointment with us at Active Hearing Health to get ahead of any tinnitus spikes you have this winter.