Along with the cold, comes a higher risk of ear infections, ear pain and tinnitus. You may begin to experience tinnitus when your ears respond to the lowered blood circulation due to the cold. Failing to protect your ears from the cold can trigger other types of hearing loss, as well. You probably can think back to a time when you were out in the cold and your ears began to hurt because they got so cold.
When it gets below 59 degrees Fahrenheit (we know, that’s not even considered to be that cold when thinking about a Nebraska winter), the hypothalamus in our brains begins to move heat to our inner organs. This takes the heat away from the outer extremities such as our ears and nose. Your ears and nose are always the first to get cold because they’re made of cartilage and have no fat to keep them warm.
Your audiologist in Omaha, NE, knows the importance of protecting your ears in cold weather. Here are some tips!
How the cold affects our ears and why protecting them is important
If our ears are exposed to too much cold for long periods of time, our bodies may react by growing more bone in the ear canal as a means to block the cold out. This process is called exostosis. This sometimes happens to surfers who surf in cold water and wear wetsuits but do nothing to protect their ears. We are also more likely to get ear infections in the cold, as the cold weather makes us more vulnerable to getting sick and having an infection spread to our ears.
It’s important to bundle up, which includes covering our ears, in the colder months to prevent symptoms of ear infections and hearing loss. Another way the cold affects our ears is that you may notice your hearing aids have a shorter battery life in the winter; condensation from the cold can accumulate in the hearing aid, which causes problems with the electronic aspects of them. You can get special drying boxes to help with this. The cold wind can also be irritating to our ears.
Ways to protect our ears in the winter
The main way you can protect your ears from getting too cold is to avoid spending too much time outside in the cold. If you are unable to avoid being outside in the cold due to your job or another reason, wear a hat or beanie that covers your ears. If a hat is problematic for you, try a good pair of earmuffs. You can also wrap a scarf around your ears and face, or wear a hoodie and tighten the strings around the hood.
Visit an audiologist in Omaha, NE
If there comes a time when you should see an audiologist in Omaha, NE, don’t put scheduling an appointment off. Getting your hearing checked right away can help you to experience fewer problems in the future. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus or ear pain related to the cold, don’t wait. Come see us today! Contact us to set up an appointment.