How can the weather affect your hearing?
Posted on Jul 5, 2016
With winter comes rainy days, tough winds and cold ears. It's important to keep extremities like our ears warm, as well as our hands, nose and feet.
However, chilly earlobes aren't the only side effect of winter – cold weather can actually harm our hearing. Let's find out how, and learn what we can do about it.
Surfing the weather
Our bodies have a lot of unconscious natural responses to certain stimulants. If you touch something hot, your brain tells you in a split second to stop. When your ears are continuously exposed to cold wind and rain, you may actually develop a bony growth in the outer ear canal.
It's your body's way of protecting yourself, by thickening up the surface of your ear. This is called exotosis, or surfer's ear, as it commonly comes hand-in-hand with sports that involve being outdoors.
However, sometimes this growth can mean your ear canal opening is blocked, so water, dirt and ear wax can get trapped. The risk of ear infections increases, which can cause more serious damage to the sensitive nerve hairs in your inner ear.
Once you develop this extra bony growth in your ear, the only way to get rid of it is surgery, hence the importance of prevention. Keep your ears warm, and if outside a lot, consider investing in some earbuds or earmuffs for protection.
Caring for your hearing
Whether or not you partake in outdoor activities, when the weather is wet, there's higher chances of your hearing aids exposed to moisture. Even extreme weather can impact the performance of your hearing devices, which also shortens battery life.
Not only rain there's also fog, snow, condensation, and humidity caused by heaters. Your hearing aids are composed of small, delicate pieces that all work in sync to deliver clear, amplified sound. The battery is also at risk of damage if the internal components of the device are wet and cold.
It's worth storing your hearing aids next to some packets of desiccant gels or near a dehumidifier. If you notice any performance issues, the best thing you can do is come into one of our clinics to get it looked at – it could just be the battery but we can also help to determine if it's water damage or just not the right fit for you.
Give us a call on 1800 326 314 to book a consultation, or if it's time for a check up, click here for a no cost* hearing test.