Planning on spending time outdoors this winter? Remember to protect your ears and keep them warm! We lose heat quickly through our heads, specifically the ears since they are just cartilage and have no protective fat tissue. Simply putting on a hat or earmuffs can protect your ears from tinnitus, infections, and earwax hardening. In severe cases, exposure to extreme cold and wind could lead to exostosis.
Exostosis, or more commonly known as Surfer’s Ear, is excess bone that grows to protect the ear canal. The excess growth could cause a build up of wax or water to be trapped in the ear and has the potential to lead to a serious infection and possibly hearing loss. The bone growth is also very painful and can only be treated with surgery.
People who wear hearing aids should remember to keep both their ears and hearing aids dry. Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures could reduce battery life, so always have spare batteries available. If the batteries are cold, warm them in your hand before replacing the old ones. If condensation occurs from entering someplace warm after being out in the cold, immediately dry the hearing aids and take out the batteries, leaving the battery compartment open to dry and prevent electronic failure.