Tips For Hearing Aid Users
Hearing aid users should not only take the above precautions but also take care of their hearing aids, if one is travelling to a cold destination it is advisable to carry extra batteries, as the temperature drops the working life of the battery is also reduced. One can always keep the spare batteries in between the warm clothes to extend the life of the batteries.
The moisture in the hearing aid tends to cool down and form water droplets as one moves from warm weather to colder areas, it is advised to use electric dehumidifiers or stay dry containers available at all hearing aid dispensers.
Can Cold Weather Affect Your Hearing
Winter and its extreme cold can actually lower our immune systems response to viruses, new research suggests. Sniffles and coughs are certainly more common in this bracing season, but did you know that winter weather can cause problems with the hearing as well?
Surfers ear and hardened earwax are two conditions that sometimes arise in freezing temperatures, and both can lead to diminished hearing. Read on for an overview of these conditions, and a few tips on how to care for your ears in the cold days ahead.
Signs Of Damage To Your Hearing
Hearing damage can occur gradually or it can happen suddenly. Here are some signs that youre hearings been impacted:
- Speech and other sounds seem muffled
- You have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds
- Its 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
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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 . Both of these issues can cause hearing loss and severe pain.
Cold Weather Causes Earwax To Harden
Extremely cold weather can also result in earwax hardening–this is another way the body tries protects the ear canal from cold temperatures. Hardened earwax often becomes trapped, which results in hearing loss, ringing in the ears and other symptoms. You might have a buildup of hardened earwax if you have:
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Causes Of Ear Ache When Running In The Cold
It is not uncommon for people running in the cold to experience pain in the ears. The causes of the pain often vary and may include:
- Cold ears
- Constriction of blood vessels in the ear canal
- Ear infection
Pain in the ears when running could cause a whole range of problems. Failure to keep the ears warm when running in the cold may put you at risk of blood pressure constriction. Cold weather may cause a drastic change in temperature in the ear canals as an individual moves from the indoors to the outdoors.
The pain in the ears is caused by the fact that the body warms up more slowly than the ears, which creates a burning sensation. Exposing the ears to the cold when running makes it susceptible to earaches and infections.
Persistent pain in the ears when running could be a sign of the onset of an infection. A common symptom of infection in the ears is a static noise when moving the jaws. Another sign of an ear infection is a burning sensation around the ears when running.
Running in the cold could cause blood vessels in the ear canal to constrict, which may cause an earache. The condition may worsen when running in the cold at high altitudes.
Constriction of blood vessels limits the flow of blood in the ears, which causes oxygen to accumulate in the ears, causing excessive pressure. Pain occurs when the pressure builds up in the ears as you continue running in the cold.
Obstructions In The Ear
Things that block the eardrum from working properly and place pressure on the middle ear can also cause tinnitus symptoms. This could be excess earwax, hair, dirt and congestion from a cold or infection. Keeping your ears clean and healthy is the first line of defense against this cause of tinnitus.
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Hardening Of Ear Wax Due To The Cold Weather
Cold weather is also responsible for the hardening of ear wax. The hardened ear wax blocks the sound waves and reduces the hearing ability. The effect of reduction of hearing is not very noticeable in people with normal hearing. But it can cause trouble for people who already suffer from hearing loss. Hardened ear wax also causes earaches and headaches in certain people. Though this situation is temporary and will go away once the weather turns slightly warm it does cause inconvenience. People using Hearing aids will also face difficulties as their hearing aids have been set or programmed for a particular level of hearing loss. This setting has not taken the earwax blockage into account. Though there are ways to remove ear wax at home do not attempt if you are not confident to do so, insertion of foreign articles like pins and cotton buds are not advisable.
Frankie Says Relax: Stress Makes Tinnitus Worse
In todays fast-paced world, many of us have forgotten how to relax. We feel unproductive if were not always on the go, or we let unmanaged stress eat away at us instead of attending to our needs or addressing the underlying causes.
Take some me time. Do something you love. Allow yourself to take time off. Learn to meditate and exercise more to help manage stress naturally.
If these things arent helping, you might want to consider speaking with a mental health professional. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a treatment used to great success by many mental health counselors to help patients manage their tinnitus. While CBT doesnt cure tinnitus or get rid of the ringing, patients learn how to recognize the negative thoughts associated with tinnitus and use the tools given them by the mental health professional to put a positive, realistic spin on those thoughts.
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Is My Sore Throat From Cold Air
Sore throats arent always caused by being sick. Cold air can dry out the tissue in the throat and can cause severe irritation. Symptoms can be made worse when breathing through the mouth rather than the nose. Because of this, it is common for people to have a sore throat from cold weather after exercising.
Other Diseases & Medical Conditions
- Tinnitus is a reported symptom of the following medical conditions:
- Metabolic Disorders: Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Anemia
- Autoimmune Disorders: Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia
- Blood Vessel Disorders: High Blood Pressure, Atherosclerosis
- Psychiatric Disorders: Depression, Anxiety, Stress
- Vestibular Disorders: Ménière’s Disease,Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Otosclerosis
- Tumor-Related Disorders : Acoustic Neuroma, Vestibular Schwannoma, other tumorous growths
Again, a person experiencing tinnitus should not assume that he/she has one of the medical conditions listed above. Only a trained healthcare provider can appropriately diagnose the underlying cause of tinnitus.
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Cold Weather And The Use Of Hearing Aids
If you treat your hearing loss with hearing aids, cold weather could have an amplified effect: individuals who use hearing aids are at a much higher risk for hardening earwax because having a foreign object in the ear cases it to produce more wax. When wax builds up in the ear, it can lead to infections, earaches, headaches, and tinnitus.
When it comes to earwax, avoid using cotton swabs to remove the wax. Cotton swabs are ineffective at removing earwax, despite being advertised to do so. Rather, visit us a medical professional for earwax removal.
It might seem difficult to keep your ears warm with hearing aids, especially because hats or earmuffs could block the microphones. There are a number of options out there, though so get creative with your winter accessories! Even a loose headscarf around your neck/ear area could help. Try not to leave your house with your hair wet, as cold wet hair could affect your hearing aids. Headphone earmuffs are an excellent option allowing you to still access sounds while staying warm.
Seasonal Allergies And Your Hearing
Many people experience allergies in the fall, most commonly hay fever. Allergy symptoms may include fullness in the ear, temporary difficulty hearing or itchy ears. These symptoms usually can be treated with over-the-counter medicines.
A sometimes more serious problem involves dizziness or ringing in the ears . Some people experience these symptoms due to seasonal allergies. Others may have health problems that can become worse due to allergies. Your audiologist can determine if the symptoms are due to allergies or other issues.
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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.
Exostosis Of The Ear Canal An Ear Condition Related To Colder Temperatures
Exostosis of the ear canal, or surfers ear, is a condition that leads to abnormal bone growths within the ear canal as a reaction to cold weather or temperatures. Commonly known as surfers ear, this condition is frequently found amongst surfers whose activity puts them in contact with both cold water in the ear canal and a breeze that causes a quick drop in temperature inside the ear canal.
With surfing, the exposure to cold water and wind could cause bone growth surrounding the ear canal, which could eventually lead to a blockage in the ear canal. Furthermore, this bone growth has the potential to trap ear wax or water deeper inside the ear canal, which could cause infection and put you at risk for hearing loss.
Though it is called surfers ear, the condition actually affects any number of people who participate in water sports that put them in contact with cold water, wind exposure, and lower temperatures. These sports include windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, jet skiing, kitesurfing, and diving, to name a few.
Symptoms of surfers ear include decreased hearing or hearing loss , increase prevalence of ear infections which could cause ear pain, and difficulty removing water from the ear, which could lead to a plugged up sensation. Surfers ear is most commonly found among people in their mid-30s to late-40s, though it could really happen to anyone at any age with enough exposure.
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Persistent Cough Or Wheezing
Wheezing or a cough that mimics asthma or bronchitis can be caused by acid reflux moving from the stomach to the lungs, says Evan Dellon, MD, MPH, from the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing at the UNC School of Medicine in North Carolina. On the other hand, wheezers and coughers can sometimes make themselves more prone to reflux, says Dr. Dellon, because the actions put pressure on the belly and push stomach acid upward.
Ears Are Vulnerable To Weather
Because your ears have no protective fat tissue, they can cool down quickly. At 59 degrees, blood vessels begin to constrict to consolidate warmth, and your ears become susceptible to the cold. Have you ever felt a pain in your ear canal during cold weather? Thats because there is just a thin layer of skin protecting the nerves in the ear canal. Keeping your ears covered during cool weather prevents a reduction of blood flow.
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Foods Can Make Tinnitus Worse For Some People
Tinnitus is a warning sign. Often its telling you that something isnt right. That something could be noise, stress, medications, or something else.
Oftentimes, it might just be the foods youre eating or not eating. To find out if your diet is the cause of the ringing in your ears, try keeping a food journal. Note days when its worse and youll likely find that you have some triggers. For instance, many people find that artificial sweeteners and caffeine make it worse.
Some people may find that the ringing in their ears is worse because theyre not getting enough iron in their diet, which may lead to iron deficiency anemia. This condition makes the blood pump harder throughout the body to make sure all the organs get the oxygen they need and can often result in a rushing sound in the ears.
Because tinnitus can be affected by blood pressure, salty foods can also affect your tinnitus.
Can Acupuncture Make Tinnitus Worse
There have been several research studies on the effects of acupuncture on tinnitus. Some research indicates that acupuncture can help reduce the severity of tinnitus in people whose tinnitus stems from issues in the inner ear. Other research, while still mostly positive, has had mixed results and may be slightly biased. Acupuncture has been shown in multiple studies to help people reduce stress and lower their blood pressure, both of which seem to be related to tinnitus. If, however, the thought of needles makes your blood pressure rise, this might not be the best option for you.
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Common Causes Of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a common health condition among Americans, yet it remains largely misunderstood and hard to treat. One of the problems with diagnosing tinnitus is that its main symptom is a high-pitched sound only one person can hear. Secondly, it can be caused by more than 200 health disorders. For these reasons, diagnosing and treating the root cause of tinnitus must be done on an individual basis. Even though tinnitus can be a symptom of hundreds of different conditions, here are five problems that are most commonly identified with it.
Supplements And Foods For Help Tinnitus
Ginkgo biloba helps increase circulation of blood to the neck, brain and head. Additionally, it reduces inflammation in blood vessels, promoting better circulation to the capillaries feeding the nerves surrounding the ear. Taking ginkgo is not a fast fix for tinnitus, and it takes time to relieve the problem. It’s best to use it in combination with other remedies to relieve ringing or other noises in the ears from tinnitus.
Previous clinical trials were conducted to ascertain the effects of CoEnzyme Q10 on patients with tinnitus. In 2007, the journal of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery reported those findings, noting that CoQ10 may be helpful for certain people for reducing noises in the ears from tinnitus depending on the nature of their condition.
Additionally, chiropractor Dr. James Fettig recommends taking CoQ10 to relieve tinnitus symptoms. By increasing overall blood flow, he discusses how the supplement generates energy in cell mitochondria helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes as well as ringing in the ears. He recommends 200 mg of high potency, highly absorbable CoQ10 daily. Consult your natural health practitioner for personalized dosing guidelines.
Caffeine may reduce the flow of blood to the ears, neck and head constricting capillaries and other small blood vessels. This can, in turn, aggravate your tinnitus symptoms.
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Protect Your Hearing Outdoors
Football games, leaf blowers, hunting activities all involve noise, and noise affects ear health. Its important to consider ear protection when taking part in these activities, or any event where youre exposed to noise levels that may be greater than 80 decibels , which is about as loud as a dial tone or a garbage disposal. Foam earplugs can reduce noise at a football game while specialized earmuffs can shield your ears from the leaf blower or weed trimmer.
Can Sudden Weather Change Cause Headaches
If youre prone to getting headaches, you could find that grey skies, high humidity, rising temperatures and storms can all bring on head pain. Pressure changes that cause weather changes are thought to trigger chemical and electrical changes in the brain. This irritates nerves, leading to a headache.
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Dont Let The Ringing In Your Ears Get Worse Start Improving Your Tinnitus Today
If you take steps to address the underlying causes of tinnitus symptoms, youll most likely get relief and slow the progression of hearing loss.
But even if you start making these changes, be sure to get your hearing tested and talk to a hearing specialist about solutions for treating or managing tinnitus. You may be surprised at the advanced options available.
Page medically reviewed by Kevin St. Clergy, Audiologist, on April 16, 2020.
Home Remedies For Tinnitus
Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced brief periods of mild ringing or other sounds in the ear. This is known as tinnitus. Tinnitus means sizzling or ringing sounds in the ears, which can be constant or intermittent. It can occur in one or both ears.
It may be caused by age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or infection, exposure to loud noise, high altitudes, upper respiratory infections, earwax blockage, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, ear bone changes , , or diseases like high or low blood pressure, diabetes or a circulatory system disorder.
This annoying condition can interfere with daily activities and cause difficulty hearing, working, concentrating and sleeping. While it is not always easy to find the exact cause of tinnitus, there are a number of natural remedies to reduce ringing in the ears that are very effective.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for tinnitus.
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