Cold Ears Let in Infections
Winter is a time of flus, colds, sore throats and ear aches. Living in Australia, we are now at the dead of winter, about to witness the turning of the year in about a week’s time.
Colds, ear aches and infections play a big part in the type of ear problems we treat with Sound Therapy. It is quite common for customers to relate a history where a cold or ear infection was the first sign of what later developed into a chronic ear problem such as tinnitus, pressure ear or hearing difficulties. It seems strange perhaps that an infection which is treated and clears up would leave you with an ongoing ear problem. However, so often the problems that present to us are the culmination of many events, often over decades. These often begin with childhood ear infections and struggling with learning at school. They frequently contain a saga of excess noise exposure from work related noise or rock and roll. If there is a weakness in the ear system it is more likely to be prone to infections, and likewise, chronic ear or sinus infections can make the ear more susceptible to functional problems.
When someone is a tinnitus sufferer, an event such as a cold or sinus attack can worsen the tinnitus. It can also create the sensation of blocked ear and sometimes lead to dizziness. I have noticed that in the winter months it is not uncommon for someone who has just started Sound Therapy to call in reporting worsening symptoms. On questioning, we often find that they have just experienced a virus or infection of the respiratory or ear nose and throat systems. This makes it hard to distinguish if the symptoms are related to the Sound Therapy or the infection. Most often it proves to be the infection, as the symptoms ease once it has healed.
This may sound a bit grandmotherish, but one thing we have learned is that keeping the ears warm in winter is pretty important for ear health.
Researchers Claire Johnson and Professor Ron Eccles, at the Common Cold Center at Cardiff University have now proven scientifically that being chilled can lead to developing a cold. They worked with 180 volunteers, half of whom were asked to immerse their feet in ice and cold water for 20 minutes. A control group sat with feet in an empty bowl.
Over the next four to five days almost a third (29 percent) of the chilled volunteers developed cold symptoms whereas only just 9 percent in the control group experienced symptoms.
This does not deny that colds are related to viruses we catch from other people. However, when a virus is circulating, many people may be carrying it but symptoms do not manifest due to the body’s immune system. What happens when we are exposed to cold is there is a constriction of blood vessels which supply the white cells that fight infection. This allows the virus to get stronger and symptoms develop.
So grandmother was right!
Read more at this link
When it comes to the ears, the same is true. Protecting the whole ear nose and throat area will reduce ear problems and infections in winter. Even in Australia which have very mild winters compared to much of the world. We notice a higher incidence of ear related problems that are connected with viruses and infections in winter.
So wear your ear muffs! Not just the ones for ear noise protection, but the ones for warmth!