Oh, baby! It’s cold outside! Winter is upon us and with it colder temperatures and plenty of stormy, icy, and even snowy weather in many areas of the country. This coldest season of the year officially begins around December 21st and lasts for several months. While the changing weather can create a winter wonderland, it can also be a concern for your ears and hearing health.
You may think earmuffs are just to keep the frostbite at bay, but these, hats and more smart choices like these can help you make the most of winter without sacrificing your hearing health.
Protect Your Ears With The Right Winter Gear
Keeping your ears warm with cozy hats and earmuffs is about more than just comfort during the colder months of the year. There is some evidence that when the inner workings of your ear are exposed to the elements such as cold wind and rain, they can develop exostosis. Also known as surfer’s ear, this condition occurs when small nodules of bone thicken the ear canal potentially causing hearing loss or causing outside particles to become trapped inside the ear. Reduce your risk of exostosis by keeping your ears warm and dry throughout the season.
Don’t Forget Noise-Reducing Gear
The winter months, especially in areas prone to snow, also bring noisy new activities and power tools. Devices such as snow blowers and snowmobiles easily generate noise above safe levels for hearing health. Anytime you or a loved one operates a noisy winter tool or toy, be sure to use earplugs or protective headphones to prevent hearing loss.
Maintain Hearing Aid Batteries
Proper maintenance of your hearing aids and hearing aid batteries is more important than ever during the winter months. Colder temperatures and built up moisture can reduce the life of your hearing aid battery and even cause damage to your hearing aid. At night or any time the device is not in use during the day, turn the hearing aid off and leave the battery door open to allow built-up moisture to escape. During the day, carry an umbrella or wear a special hearing aid “sweatband” to protect against the elements.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
The importance of a healthy diet cannot be stressed enough when it comes to hearing health. Not only have studies linked a healthy diet to hearing health in general, but during the winter months, it can also help boost your immune system which is vital in helping to prevent ear infections. A stronger immune system can help ward off the sniffles, sore throats, and congestion that are often the precursor to ear infections. Ear infections can not only cause temporary hearing loss, but they can also, in extreme cases, damage the inner ear and cause permanent hearing damage. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is a great place to start. Also include foods such as beans, greens, broccoli, citrus, and tomatoes linked to a strong immune system.
Maintaining your hearing health and preventing hearing loss or damage to hearing aids during the winter months is as easy as following tips like these when the temperatures drop and the stormy weather heats up.