The winter weather is officially here in Maryland, and the temperature will continue to be cold and likely get colder as we pass into the New Year. While it will be great news for many to finally reach 2021, the need for caution isn’t over, particularly for your ears. Here is the why and how of keeping your ears warm this winter season.
One reason that it’s important to keep your ears warm this winter is because of the effect cold temperatures have on this body part. Ears, like noses, do not have nearly as much blood flow through them as the more central parts of the body. Mainly consisting of cartilage and having little fat, ears are generally the first to become frozen when exposed to the elements, and no one wants frozen ears.
Moreover, you might have noticed during a winter evening walk that your ears are hurting internally after a while. Because the ear is a sensitive instrument, cold weather can start to affect the nerves in the ear canal. It can also decrease the blood circulation in the inner ear. Either low blood circulation or pinched nerves can cause ear pain.
Potential for Hearing Loss
Freezing air and wind may not directly cause hearing loss, but it can leave the body more vulnerable to develop hearing loss over time. Frequent exposure to the cold typically causes a heightened bone growth in the ear canal called exotosis, which is the body’s way of trying to protect the ear itself. Exotosis is painful and can handicap one’s hearing; thankfully, surgery can remove that extra bone growth. Nevertheless, those who spend much time in cold weather, such as skiers, surfers, and outdoor workers, should always wear ear protection.
Along with an in conjunction with surfer’s ear is the possibility of ear infections. Due to either constricted ear canals or the common cold season, bacteria and dirt can creep into the inner ear and start an infection. While one will have little chance of damaging your hearing, multiple infections can.
Ways to Keep Your Ears Warm
There are several simple ways for keeping your ears warm. One can use any of the common clothing items designed for this purpose, such as hats with ear flaps, earmuffs, fleece headbands, or even scarves. Some people use earplugs, although it is best to have custom earplugs if you go this route.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.