Fall is fast approaching and with it come seasonal weather changes. Is there anything you need to do to prepare for the changes in the weather? Do changes in weather affect your hearing or hearing aids? For many patients, weather changes like changes in pressure and especially colder weather can bring about some hearing problems and when the temperatures drop, that can affect hearing aid functions too.
When the seasons change, weather fronts bring about changes in barometric pressure. When barometric pressure drops quickly, the pressure outside your ears goes down before the pressure inside your ears can acclimate. The fluid in your ears is very sensitive to these changes and can cause the sensation of ears popping due to the pressure imbalance.
Long term exposure to cold weather can increase chances of ear infections. This is because the cold weather decreases circulation in the ear. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists chronic ear infections a main cause of hearing loss. To prevent ear infections due to the cold weather, make sure to wear hats, ear muffs and other gear to keep your ears warm.
Another reason you should protect your ears from cold weather is to help prevent a condition called exostosis, commonly known as ‘surfer’s ear’. Prolonged exposure to strong winds, cold water, and cold, damp conditions can promote abnormal growth on the bones inside the ear canal. The bone growth can block the passage and interfere with hearing.
You know that it’s cold out when the temperatures drop enough to harden your earwax. This can cause discomfort and even a blockage that can interfere with your hearing. Remember not to try to remove earwax using a cotton swab tip. Although his seems to be a common habit, it’s a bad one and can cause further damage, instead follow our tips for safe earwax removal.
We already discussed about the dangers of water and hearing aids. Even a bad rain storm can damage your hearing aids if water gets in and interferes with the inner workings of these sensitive devices. However, it isn’t just wet weather that you need to protect your hearing aids from. The cold can also pose a threat to your listening devices. The cold weather can impact hearing aid functions. Hearing aid batteries, like other electronic devices also usually don’t keep a charge for as long as they do in warmer weather.
If you want to learn more about hearing loss evaluations and treatments, just let us know. Contact us today to schedule a FREE assessment. We’d love to see you and answer anything you’ve got for us. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are dedicated to your hearing health and all aspects of your life, living with hearing loss!