Winter walks: why you ears need wrapping up too

Jan 21, 2019 in Hearing Protection

Family walking dog through field

Despite being a mild winter so far, a coat and scarf are still required wearing. But don’t forget to keep your ears warm – it’s more important than you might think…

When the mercury drops to single figures it’s essential to wrap up warm. And your ears are no exception.

Yep, you heard that correctly – keeping your ears warm is more important than you might think. Especially if you spend long periods of time outside, perhaps as part of your job, hobby, or if you just enjoy long walks in the crisp winter air.

With very little body fat insulating them from the elements, your ears are uniquely exposed to the elements. So here are three winter ear protection tips to help you give ear problems the slip this winter:

1. Wrap up to avoid exostosis

Having chilly ears for a short while is uncomfortable, but long-term exposure can cause exostosis, sometimes referred to as ‘surfer’s ear’. Exostosis symptoms include bone growths in the ear canal, as the body attempts to insulate itself against the exposure to cold weather.

It’s also associated with a build-up of earwax, causing infections, earache, hearing loss and tinnitus. Prevention is better than cure: ear muffs are perfect, as are warm hats and snoods or scarves that cover your ears.

2. Give your hearing aid some love and attention

Lower temperatures can cause hearing aid batteries to deplete faster than usual, so try and keep a spare charged battery to hand.

What’s more, cold air can create moisture inside your hearing aid. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to dry it out or ask your hearing care specialist. And if you want ultimate peace of mind, water-resistant hearing aids are also available.

3. Minimise your risk of ear infections

Although more common in children than adults, ear infections are still a risk factor at this colder time of year.

So how can you reduce your chances of developing an ear infection? Be sure to dry your ears well after showering or swimming – drying your ears might sound like a straightforward activity, but there’s one thing most of us get wrong. Find out what it is here.

Left untreated, an ear infection can get worse or even cause long-term damage, so be sure to visit your GP or Leightons hearing care specialist if you have earache.

Get in touch with a hearing care specialist

If you’re experiencing ear pain, a Leightons hearing care specialist can help. Book a free hearing test online, call us on 0800 40 20 20, or pop in to your local branch.