Care for your hearing this Winter
The winter months in parts of our country can be quite brutal, from coastal currents to mountain winds. Caring for your hearing and your health can be as simple as remembering to wear that beanie before sitting around a camp fire, so make the most of this beautiful season by staying warm and keeping flu free.
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
Your immune system is your first line of defense, so keep it strong:
During the autumn and winter seasons you are the most susceptible to diseases such as colds and the flu. Among all the unwelcome symptoms including headaches, stuffy chests and a blocked nose; hearing loss is the most disorientating of these symptoms.
Flu related hearing loss is mostly caused by a blocked nose or sinus cavity. This sensation means that your eustachian tube, the one which connects your middle ear to your throat, is blocked or swollen. The eustachian tube is responsible for the functioning and management of the pressure build in your middle ear, but when you have an over flow of fluids or congestion, your hearing is temporarily affected.
On rare occasions, the flu virus can damage the sensory hair cells in your inner ear which could have a long-term effect on your hearing. If you have flu and your hearing suddenly becomes considerably impaired, you should visit your GP as a medical emergency to reduce the risk of damaging your hearing permanently.
The best way to treat a flu is to take preventative measures against it. To do this keep your immune system at its best so it can fight off any viruses before you feel any of the telling symptoms. Get enough sleep, keep a balanced (5 colours a day) diet and stay hydrated during the colder months, this is the surest way to maintain your general health, including your ears.
Dress to impress (your circulation):
Ear Infections are at higher risk during low temperatures because of the affect these conditions have on your circulation. Lower blood circulation in your ears may cause dizziness and even tinnitus. This at least can be easily managed by wearing warm head gear and protective clothing against the August winds and the Cape Doctor that sweeps through the city during this time of year.
Every layer helps to preserve the functionality of your body so stock up on all the fashion accessories you can get a hold of. Include scarves, hoodies, beanies, ear muffs and even sweat bands in your mix of fashion flavours this winter. Remember to donate any old clothing that you may have but not be using any more to anybody who will benefit from the extra warmth.
Care for your hearing aids:
Sudden changes in your climate as you move from the cozy conditioned inside temperatures to the windy chilled outdoors can cause condensation to form in your hearing aids. Moisture from this condensation will eventually affect the mechanism inside your hearing aids. Make sure you clean them regularly, and store in a cool dry place when you are not wearing them.
You should also consider investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier if you haven't already done so. This inexpensive piece of equipment will help to prolong the life of your hearing aids by removing moisture overnight as you sleep.
Extremely cold conditions can also make the batteries in your hearing aids drain more quickly than usual. So be sure to stock up on hearing aid batteries. Remember not to store your hearing equipment on your dashboard or cubby hole as extreme temperature changes in your car will create condensation which will affect the performance of your hearing aid.
So for now from all of us at Hearing Works we hope you enjoy the changing of the seasons, take a moment to listen to the rustling of the leaves and to witness the miracle of the rich colours of Autumn. Remember to keep yourselves and your family warm this winter.
Protect your ears and love your hearing with Hearing Works.