Long nights followed by cold mornings, winter is definitely here. Inevitably, the colder weather brings with it some common companions; sniffles, coughs and colds. Maintaining your health in the winter is all about knowing how to take care of your entire well-being, which includes your hearing health.
Breathing in cold air can cause a narrowing of blood vessels, known as vasoconstriction. A lowered core body temperature reduces blood flow around the body, including to the ears. It also limits the immune system’s ability to do its job, which can lead to moisture and bacteria being trapped within the ear.
This increases the chances of colds and infections such as otitis media, which can lead to blocked eustachian tubes. This tube is vital; it helps protect your inner ear and eardrum from damage by regulating pressure and draining away excess fluid.
Typical side effects of the common cold can be stuffy nose and sinus congestion, both of which can cause you to experience some fullness in your ears. This fullness is caused by swelling in your Eustachian tube which can create a feeling of pressure on your ear drum. This pressure can sometime be accompanied by dizziness, pain, ringing in your ears and in some cases, hearing loss. We’ve put together a guide on symptoms to look out for and how to protect your ears this winter season.
Blocked eustachian tubes can present with the following symptoms:
There are still a few months of winter ahead. Bundle up, and don’t forget your hat! If you’re concerned that the cold weather has affected your hearing, call us on (212) 786-5741 or click here to request an appointment today.