Winter has arrived! Even if you love the cold weather, it’s important to look after your health in the cooler months. Ears in particular are very sensitive to the cold and are one of the first areas of the body to be affected by the cool weather. Low temperatures can also present challenges for hearing aid users.

Here are six tips to help look after your hearing health this winter.

Protect your hearing aids.
Very low temperatures of under 10 degrees Celsius can cause a reduction in the life of your hearing aid batteries, or even cause battery failure. When it’s very cold outside, wear ear protection (such as a beanie or ear muffs) to prevent batteries getting too cold.

Carry spare batteries.
Make sure you have a spare pair of batteries on you at all times just in case. Keep them in a pocket under your coat, where your body heat will keep them at an optimal temperature. Be aware that if the temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius, your hearing aid batteries might cease to work altogether.

Dry thoroughly after showering.
Your ear canals will take longer to dry after a shower when the weather is cold. Make sure they’re thoroughly dry before inserting your hearing aids.

Beware condensation.
Condensation can occur inside hearing aids during sudden transitions from cold to warm conditions. These tiny drops of water can get into the electronics and cause damage. Special drying containers can prevent possible damage from condensation. These are usually available for purchase from hearing professionals.

Watch out for ear infections.
The risk of ear infections increases when it’s cold, as less blood is circulated in the ears. Remember to be especially vigilant about ear health during cold and flu season, when ear infections become more common.

Be careful when flying with a cold.
When you have the flu or a sinus infection, air travel can cause severe ear pain. If you find yourself with a head cold and a plane to catch, take precautions to make sure your ears don’t suffer any damage with the changes in air pressure.

For more information on winter ear tips, please click here.