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Cold weather and hearing loss

Cold weather and hearing loss

Posted on 2017-12-01

Hearing loss can be caused by many different causes. Age, disease and injury generally contribute to the inability to hear. Repeated exposure to loud noise over time can damage the delicate structures of the ear, and ultimately, the ability to hear. Family history, genetics and even medications can contribute to hearing loss. Environmental factors such as exposure to cold weather conditions can also affect the hearing.

Exposure to cold weather conditions can increase the risk of hearing loss. Cold weather can cause abnormal growth of bone in the outer ear canal, the medical term for abnormal bony growth is exostosis and commonly known as swimmer’s or surfer’s ear.  Exposure to wind and cold water stimulates bone growth that narrows the canal and blocks the eardrum. This narrowing trap dirt, water and earwax in the ear canal, it can lead to infections, earaches, headaches, and even ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Exostosis is common among surfers and people who enjoy winter sports like underwater diving, skiing, snowboarding and fishing.

Exostosis can be prevented by following some safety precautions 

  • Avoid activity during extremely cold conditions
  • Dry your ears after a surf session and keep them warm.
  • Protect the ears from extreme weather using earplug or surf plugs ear

Shea Ear Clinic is world renowned for its otologic expertise, but we are also a full-service Ear, Nose and Throat clinic. Whether it's a minor ear infection, a serious case of dizziness, ringing in your ears, hearing loss, chronic sinus problems and allergies, or a need for facial cosmetic surgery, the Shea Ear Clinic doctors can help. Give us a call at 1-800-477-SHEA and let our specialists help you or your loved one.



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