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Cold weather and hearing loss

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 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 Clinic Ear Nose & Throat 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 Clinic Ear Nose & Throat 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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