Tips for protecting your ears this winter
If you live in and around Calgary, you’re no stranger to cold weather. But did you know that the cold can affect your hearing?
How the cold can affect you ears
People with hearing loss are three times likelier to fall on the ice than those with perfect hearing. Even if your hearing is fine, the sub-zero temperatures and strong gusts of wind can increase your chances of getting ear infections and exostosis, which is characterized by the formation of a new bone on an existing one (in this case, along the ear canal). Both of these issues can cause hearing loss and severe pain.
How winter sounds can affect your hearing
Many of the noises you’re exposed to during the winter can affect your hearing. If you operate snowblowers or snowmobiles, make sure you protect your ears adequately. The roar of the stadium as you cheer on your favourite hockey team can also be damaging, as can loud indoor concerts.
Signs of damage to your hearing
Hearing damage can occur gradually or it can happen suddenly. Here are some signs that you’re hearing’s been impacted:
• Speech and other sounds seem muffled
• You have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds
• It’s difficult to follow conversations in loud environments
• You need to ask others to speak up
• You need to turn up he volume on the television or radio
• You hear ringing in your ears
How to protect your ears this winter
Hearing loss is usually preventable. Make sure to wear earplugs when handling loud machinery or when in a loud environment. Both disposable ear plugs and custom ones made by an audiologist will work. Cover your ears when you go out in the cold. A hat or earmuffs will block the Calgary wind from getting in your ear canal and help prevent ear infections and exostosis.
Protecting your hearing aids
Like most electronics, hearing aids are sensitive devices that are easily damaged. Moisture can corrode them and cold temperatures can drain the batteries quickly.
Follow these tips to keep your hearing aid in good shape all winter:
• Remove hearing aids for winter activities that may cause you to sweat
• Carry extra batteries with you in case the cold causes the ones in your device to drain
• When you’re back indoors after being outside, dry your hearing aids with a cotton swab
The audiology experts at the Soundwave Hearing Care clinics are proud to offer hearing solutions to the people of Alberta. Our audiologists are happy to help you whether you need testing to make sure your ears are healthy and your hearing is sound, or you need a device to amplify sounds. Call us today to make an appointment at a clinic in Calgary, Grande Prairie, High River or Lethbridge.