Everyone knows winter poses hazards to our health in many ways. Icy roads cause myriad car accidents. Blizzards cause power outages and freezing temperatures. But what about your hearing? Did you know the season can threaten your hearing, too? Certain winter conditions can negatively impact your hearing, including your eardrums and hearing aids in Springfield, MO.
This season can also be a threat if you already have hearing loss. The season can be tough for those with hearing issues or poor ear health. It’s important to be aware of the dangers winter brings so you can prepare for them. This season, protect your health and hearing. Watch out for these hazards of the snowy season:
- Slip and falls: If you have hearing loss, you are three times more likely to suffer a nasty fall than someone with healthy hearing. Your balance system may be compromised due to hearing loss, leaving you more vulnerable to falls. In winter, icy and snowy conditions make falls even more likely. Be especially careful on stairs and watch for black ice. Invest in a good pair of boots that offer a firm grip.
- Noise: Snow and ice removal can be extremely noisy. Snow blowers can exceed 100 decibels. Operating one of these machines can cause permanent damage to your hearing. If you’ll be blowing snow this winter, wear hearing protection. Foam earplugs are an inexpensive way to protect your hearing. If you wear hearing aids in Springfield, MO, keep in mind that they amplify the sound. Try a pair of earmuffs to both dampen the sound and protect your hearing aid from the cold and moisture.
- Otitis media: This painful condition is an inflammation of the middle ear. You probably know it as an ear infection. Cold temperatures reduce circulation and increase the risk of trapped bacteria and moisture, making ear infections more likely. Reduce your risk of ear infections by keeping your ears warm this winter. You may not enjoy wearing a hat or scarf, but it’s much less painful than an infection that could permanently damage your hearing.
- Wetness: Freezing rain, snow and wind can be very harsh on hearing aids in Springfield, MO. These conditions shorten battery life and cause moisture buildup in the devices. If your hearing aid is exposed to winter weather, take care to dry it out as soon as possible. If it does not recover properly, take it to a local hearing aid shop to determine if it can be repaired or should be replaced.
- Soaring: Will you be flying anywhere this winter? Try to avoid soaring in the skies if you have a cold. When you’re sick, your ears may not be able to equalize pressure as they need to. This can lead to temporary hearing loss or other issues. If you notice hearing problems after flying, seek out a hearing professional to have your ears checked.
To avoid damage to your hearing or hearing aids in Springfield, MO, take the proper precautions this winter. If you experience any issues with your hearing device, visit your local hearing aid service in Springfield, MO for assistance and a free hearing test.