Healthy Hearing Tips For Fall
As the seasons change, so do hearing needs and risks. The weather is getting cooler, leaves are changing, and your favorite football teams are packing stadiums with fans. What steps can you take this fall to protect your hearing? Read on to learn more about risks to your hearing this autumn, and solutions for any hearing loss you have experienced.
Autumn is allergy season for many people, and hay fever is predominant at this time of year. Pollen counts are still high as well, and dust and pet dander can be indoor air contaminants all year long. Allergies can cause your ears to itch, feel full, be painful, or you could have trouble hearing. Treating your allergy symptoms with over the counter antihistamines or decongestants can help, and thankfully for most people allergies result in only temporary, conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss happens when something is blocking the ear and preventing sounds from entering. This can be fluid or earwax, and allergies can increase the likelihood of conductive hearing loss. In rare cases, allergies could lead to hearing loss for people who have Meniere’s disease. Colds and flu can also lead to sinus related problems and temporary muffled hearing; both of these are more prevalent in the fall and winter months. If you are experienced impaired hearing loss suddenly in the fall, consider whether allergies could be the cause.
As the temperatures drop, you need to pull out the scarves, sweaters, and most importantly the hats. We lose much of our body heat through our heads, and hats can not only keep you warm, but protect your delicate ears. The ears have no protective fat tissue, so they become chilled much more quickly than the rest of your body. Frequently being exposed to cold or wet weather and strong cold winds can lead to exostosis, also known as surfer’s ear. This is when the cold conditions cause abnormal bone growths to form inside the ear canal, which can eventually block the ear canal and lead to hearing loss. These growths are your body’s way of trying to form an extra protective barrier for the ears, but this thickening of the ear canal can not only muffle sounds, but lead to trapped water, an inability to expel ear wax, and chronic ear infections. Exostosis can require surgery, but if left untreated will not resolve itself and can lead to chronic hearing impairment. Make sure you are taking care of your ears this fall, and protecting them from the cold with a hat or earmuffs.
For many, the fall season is synonymous with hunting, and camouflage, early mornings, and the crack of the rifle are what make autumn great. But a shot from a gun can ring in at 140 to 190 decibels, which can cause immediate and permanent damage to hearing. Noise induced hearing loss is on the rise, and can be prevented by wearing appropriate hearing protection—this is especially important for hunters. A study by the University of Wisconsin showed that hearing loss risk increased by seven percent for every five years an individual had hunted. Another salient point from this study was that 95 percent of hunters said they had worn no hearing protection at all while hunting. You may not want to muffle the rustle of a deer, or the flapping of duck wings, but consider the far reaching implications of noise induced hearing loss. If you want to preserve your hearing, use hearing protection while hunting this fall.
For many people, fall equals football, and this season will have them out cheering for their favorite team weekly. The average crowd noise during an NFL football game is between 80 to 90 decibels, and hearing damage can occur when you are exposed to 85 decibels or more for a prolonged period of time. Of course, the 80-90 dB is just an average: fans in 2014 set a world record for the loudest crowd, ringing in at 142.2 dB! At over 100 dB you can have hearing damage after just one hour. Wearing earplugs is essential if you are a frequent football game-goer, and will let you cheer on your team while protecting your hearing.
Fall is a great time to get your yard tidied up and trimmed for the winter. It is also the time when it seems like weeks can be spent raking, raking, and raking the leaves falling down on your lawn. To speed up the process, many people opt for a leaf blower, which can make this job much easier. It is also much louder, and leaf blowers can let out 90 to 110 decibels—enough to damage your hearing in just one session of yard care. Lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and chainsaws are all useful implements during the fall months, but they can all cause damage to your hearing. Use ear protection when you are working on your lawn to minimize the risk of hearing damage.
Solutions for Hearing Loss
Are you already experiencing hearing loss? If so, taking action quickly can minimize how bad your hearing becomes and the negative impacts on your life. Hearing loss can be greatly helped by hearing aids, and with Factory Direct Hearing you can buy hearing aids online and have them shipped to your door—with only a hearing test needed! With the best brands like Siemens/Signia, Oticon, ReSound, and Widex, we provide you with ready to use hearing aids that are programmed to your ears! Don’t suffer any longer with hearing loss, the fall is a time of hearing risks, but also a time of great sounds. Don’t miss out on the crunching of leaves, the crackling of a fire, or the conversation and laughter at the apple orchard. Take control, not only proactively against fall hearing loss, but of any current hearing impairment. If you are using hearing aids, know that the fall weather can require some special care.
Caring for Hearing Aids in the Fall
The fall weather can be troublesome for your hearing aids, but by taking some special precautions, you can prolong their life and keep them functioning well. The pollen and dander that can cause your allergies can also clog your hearing aids, so be sure you are cleaning them regularly, and changing out the domes and tubes as necessary. Keep your ears clean as well, so you are not contaminating your hearing aids by putting them into a dirty ear. Keeping your hearing aids clean will help them operate at peak performance. You should also be careful of the effects of the cold air on your hearing aids. Low temperatures can compromise the battery life of your hearing aids, so make sure you are fully charging your batteries and bringing extras if you will be out in the cold for prolonged periods of time. Condensation can also be a problem during the fall, when you go from the wet and cold into a warm indoor environment. This can cause drops of water to form on your hearing aids, which can damage them. Keep your hearing aids dry, and be aware of the fluctuations in temperature this fall.
So get excited for the fall weather that is coming, and make sure that you protect your hearing! We want you to hear all the sounds you are missing out on, so if you are struggling with hearing impairment, contact Factory Direct Hearing today!