Ear Infection Increases In Winter, Here's How You Can Prevent It

When the season transitions to cold, ear infections rise to a significant level. Here are the prevention tips for you to follow this season.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Nov 20, 2022 10:22 IST
Ear Infection Increases In Winter, Here's How You Can Prevent It

Apart from seasonal colds or flu, ear infections are common in winter. People of all age groups are at risk of getting these infections. People get infections of the middle and inner ear, commonly caused due to inflammation by bacteria or viruses. Here are the precautions you can take to prevent ear infections this winter. 

Causes of Ear Infection During Winter

As viruses and bacteria can thrive in the cold the chances of spreading flu and viral infections become high. This can also take a toll on the ears. When the season transitions to cold, our immunity gets compromised and ear inflammation occurs. This leads to irritation and the trapped bacteria can cause ear infections (otitis media).

One can also have an ear infection due to a sore throat or respiratory infection. As ear infections are linked to throat and nose infections, untreated sinusitis can also increase the risk of ear infections.

Because our ears are primarily cartilage and have very little insulating fat, they can rapidly get chilly. Furthermore, cold temperatures can irritate delicate tissue in the ear canals, increasing the frequency of earaches and infections.

Also Read: Having Itching Or Pain In Your Ears? You May Have These Ear Infections

Spending time outside in the cold without proper ear protection might result in hearing loss. If your ears are regularly exposed to low temperatures, bony growths in the ear canals may form. This is known as exostosis, commonly known as a surfer's ear. This is a type of bone growth that harms ear health. It narrows the ear canal making it harder to discharge water, ear wax, and debris, potentially leading to ear infections and irreversible hearing loss.

Symptoms of Ear Infection

The common symptoms one can experience during an ear infection are headaches and pain in the ears. Swelling can also occur. You may experience dizziness too. In other cases, unusual discharge from the ear can also appear, while in severe cases, temporary hearing loss can occur.

How to Prevent Ear Infection in Winter?

  • Make sure your ears are covered when you go out in the cold. Keep them warm. You can wear an ear muff or headband for that.
  • Shower and clean your ears regularly. But make sure to dry your ears after bathing. This will ensure you aren’t providing a breeding place for bacteria or fungi to grow. Thus, preventing ear infections.
  • Avoid poking your ears with cotton buds or swabs. Putting cotton wool in ears to protect them from cold is also not recommended. This can begin an inflammation action in your ear canal.
  • Take care that you do not catch allergies, so that your Eustachian tubes do not get congested.
  • Be at a safe distance from people suffering from cold or flu. If you come in contact with them, make sure to wash your hands properly before touching your eyes, ears and nose.
  • Avoid smoking. This is because smoke can cause irritation and inflame the airway.

Conclusion

Although it is not always possible to avoid colds and related illnesses properly, adopting these steps can lower the risk of ear infections. The fewer colds you acquire this winter, the less probable it is that you will have an ear infection. But in case you catch one, seek a doctor’s advice at the earliest.

Image Credits: freepik

Disclaimer