As we head into the holiday season and also the beginning of winter, it’s that time of year when cooler temperatures start to set in. While that may be a relief if you live in a warm climate like Arizona, you may not be happy with how the colder weather affects your hearing. In fact, some hearing professionals believe that the fall and winter months can be the most challenging.
How colder weather affects your hearing
We find that the more you know about hearing, the better you will be equipped to manage your hearing healthall year long. And, if you understand how the colder weather affects your hearing, you may be able to prevent some problems or at least seek professional help when needed.
Here are some of the most common things you’ll notice as the weather turns colder:
- Ear wax build-up – It’s possible to have too much ear wax any time of the year but when the weather turns cooler, it can be more likely to become trapped in the ear. While ear wax normally helps protect the inner ear, it can cause pain, discomfort, and even hearing loss when it builds up and blocks the ear canal. When this happens, it’s important to schedule professional ear wax removal as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
- Hearing aid problems – If you already wear hearing aids to combat hearing loss, it’s important to properly care for them all year round. You may find that the colder weather affects your hearing because it also comes with more moisture than the warmer seasons. If you don’t protect your delicate hearing aids, this moisture can get inside and affect their function. Built-up ear wax can do the same, so be sure to have your ears and hearing aids cleaned regularly.
- Seasonal allergies – Many people notice a flare-up of allergies in the fall, or in the winter as they spend more time indoors where dust and mold allergies can kick into full gear. Related side effects often include trouble hearing, inner ear pain (typically from repeated sneezing), and even tinnitus.
- More frequent illness – The fall and winter seasons are often known for higher levels of sickness throughout the general population – think sinus infections, colds, the flu, and this year … COVID-19. Many of these illnesses can cause fluid buildup in the ears, leading to pain, discomfort, swelling, and even hearing loss.
Protect your hearing health year round
Whether you already have hearing loss, or you simply want to keep the hearing you have, a focus on hearing health is a worthy cause in every season. Wear hearing protection when appropriate, schedule professional ear wax removal when needed, and keep in touch with your hearing professional. Your hearing is a gift … protect it like a treasure!
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