We are all familiar with the impacts that cold weather can have on our health. Each year we are given warnings about the increased risk of colds and flu throughout the winter months. But can cold weather hurt your hearing?
Also known as exostosis, Surfer’s Ear is a condition caused by cold weather conditions which leads to abnormal bone grown within the ear canal. This bony growth develops on top of existing bone structures within the ear in order to produce a protective barrier.
This obstruction within the ear canal interferes with the reception of soundwaves, reducing your ability to hear properly and can lead to hearing loss. Other symptoms of Surfer’s Ear include increased risk of ear infections, ear pain, and ringing in the ear (tinnitus). Wax and water may also get trapped within the ear resulted in a ‘plugged’ sensation.
Surfer’s Ear or Exostosis does not go away on its own. The bony growth often needs removing via a surgical procedure called a canaloplasty.
To protect your hearing in cold weather and lower your risk of developing Surfer’s Ear we recommend:
Cold weather can also cause your earwax to harden. Hardened earwax can lead to blockages within the ear canal. This can then lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms. Earache, blocked sensation, tinnitus, dizziness, headaches, infections, and hearing loss are all symptoms stemming from hardened earwax.
Those who wear hearing aids are at an increased risk of hardened earwax. The presence of a ‘foreign object’ means that your ear will produce more earwax. Quite simply, more earwax leads to higher risk of blockages caused by hardened earwax.
Although tempting, do to attempt to remove the earwax using a cotton bud. Removing earwax in this way can result in the earwax being pushed further into the ear canal, worsening the symptoms.
When it comes to those cold winter days, make sure you remember your scarf and gloves but most importantly, your ear protection. Whether you decide to wear a warm woolly hat or some trendy ear muffs, make sure your ears stay warm and dry when you next decide to venture out in the cold.
If you would like further information on how cold weather can affect your hearing, speak to one of our hearing specialists today. Call us on (864) 546-5708 or click here to Request An Appointment now.