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Person using a snow removal equipment on a snowy street


Tips to Protect Your Hearing In Winter

The cold winter weather can cause ear infections and other ear issues. Why? Our outer ears are mostly cartilage and do not have insulating fat, resulting in our ears getting cold fast. Further, when your body is cold, it naturally redirects blood to your vital organs to keep them warm. Cold temperatures can cause physical changes in your eardrum and outer ear canal. These conditions lead to pain, ringing in the ears, or the worst cases, hearing problems or loss. How do you protect your hearing in winter? Check out these simple tips.

Wear Ear Protection When Operating a Snowblower

Snowblowers are loud, producing sounds that exceed 95 decibels plus. This is a dangerous level and can damage your hearing and lead to noise-induced hearing loss. When using a snowblower, try wearing ear muffs. Or wear earplugs under your hat. The best hearing protection is the one you use consistently and correctly!

Keep Your Ears Warm and Dry

Extended or repeated exposure to cold weather can damage your ears. If you plan to go out, make sure to wear cold-weather ear protection such as a winter hat, knitted headband, or fleece ear warmers. These can keep your ears warm and dry.

Remove Excess Wax

First, never attempt to remove excess wax with a cotton swabMake an appointment with a professional. Improper cleaning with cotton swabs and lodge wax deeper into your ear. You can safely use a soft cloth to clean the outer portion of your ear.

Protect Your Hearing Aids from the Cold

Extreme temperatures can shorten your hearing aid battery life, and allow moisture to build up in your hearing aids. Keep your hearing aids warm and dry with earmuffs or a hat.

Be Mindful of Ear Infections

Ear infections are relatively common in colder months. So be diligent when you experience early signs. If you notice ear pain, redness, discharge, or any change in existing hearing change or ringing in the ears, make an appointment with your doctor. Further, if you do wear hearing aids, you should always discontinue use of them when you notice any drainage from the ears until you can see your audiologist or physician.

Make an Appointment with Your Audiologist

Schedule an appointment with your audiologist for routine screenings and evaluations. Contact Gateway by clicking here to make an appointment. Speak with one of our specialists about any concerns. Plus they can answer all your questions about how to protect your hearing in winter, and all year long!

First published on December 1, 2022