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Tips on Winter Hearing Health

By: Paul Harrison Updated: 22nd November 2019 in: Latest News, Articles
Tips on Winter Hearing Health

Winter is coming and can become problematic for your hearing, hearing aids and ears.  It is vital that you protect your ears and hearing aids during this up and coming season.  Here are some snippets of advice on how to avoid damage to your hearing and hearing aids.

The Dangers

Months of exposing your ears to cold temperatures can increase the risk of ear infections, extensive ear wax or a condition called ‘surfer’s ear’.  While ear infections are completely common in winter they can turn into a chronic problem and can eventually induce hearing loss or make your existing hearing loss worse. 

Ear wax is another issue, as the colder atmosphere allows for a build up of hardened wax.  If you find that your level of soundscape reduces and your ears become uncomfortable, it is essential that you seek medical help and get your ear wax removed professionally.

Surfer’s Ear is a modern name for exostosis – a condition that is often seen within surfer’s ears due to the continual exposure of cold wind and water for lengthy periods of time.  Your ears develop bone abnormalities within the ear canal and can lead to serious hearing problems.

Protection

Most problems can be avoided if you protect you ears from the cold weather, wind and moisture during these months.  Remember to wear hats, earmuffs or other warm accessories when you are venturing outside.  They don’t just keep your ears warm, but they keep your hearing aids safe and secure too.  If you feel that your ears are affected by the cold don’t warm them up with warm water - massage them instead and wipe away any moisture with a cotton ball or cloth.

Batteries

Always keep your batteries dry, as changes in temperature can result in future problems.  Get into the habit of regularly checking that the battery compartment is free of moisture, especially at night before you turn them off.  Daily remove your batteries and wipe them and the compartment with a dry cloth.

Hearing Aid Care

If you wear hearing aids you will need to take extra care of them in winter.  Like other seasons it is paramount that you keep your hearing aids dry and while you sleep – air them out.  We recommend to all our customers to invest in a dehumidifier case which is small enough to travel with, so you can always maintain good hearing aid management.  It is a great way to eradicate any excess moisture, as changes in temperature can cause condensation.  If you find that your hearing aids feel too cold or wet then instead of using heat, allow for them to warm up and dry out naturally.  Good hearing aid management will ultimately prolong the life of your hearing aids and protect your ears from any damage.

Soundscape Science

The winter season completely transforms the way the environment sounds.  This all starts as soon as the ground hardens with the cold temperatures - sound evolves and discovers a whole new soundscape.  The hard ground of winter soaks up less sound and reflects it.  Resulting in louder and clearer sound for you to enjoy.

It is important to remember to adjust your hearing aids and use the memory settings for noise reduction.  Due to your hearing aids amplifying sound around you and winter’s soundscape emitting louder sounds means that you can damage your hearing if you don’t use your hearing aid settings wisely.

As long as you ensure optimum hearing health and manage your hearing aids correctly – you can experience the wonders of winter sound safely.  Wrap up warm and listen out for the season and scenery transforming the sounds around you.  At Hearing Aid UK, we are a dedicated team of independent audiologists and experts who are here to help you with your hearing needs.  If you would like any advice on your hearing health or have any other questions, please contact us on 0800 567 7621.

Read next: Tips on How to Stay Safe with Hearing Aids in the Winter Sports Season

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