Many parts of the country have been hit with record low temperatures and high snowfalls this winter. Winter hurricanes, snowstorms, and freak weather events like “bomb cyclones” make it even more important to keep warm this season. In addition to keeping your ears and hearing aids toasty, the rest of your body needs to stay warm too!
The importance of keeping warm
It’s an old wives’ tale that going outside in the cold will give you a cold, but you can definitely get sick if you’re unprepared for cold weather. Older adults, especially over 65, are at an increased risk for weather-related illnesses, such as the flu, heart attacks, hypothermia, and pneumonia. In addition, winter weather conditions increase the risk of falls, which can easily lead to broken bones.
How to keep warm in the winter
It may seem like a no-brainer, but dressing warmly is key to staying as healthy as possible during the coldest months. When going outside, make sure to dress in layers: shirt, sweater, coat, gloves, and hat. Maybe even double up on the lower half—wear leggings or fleece-lined tights under your pants for an extra layer of insulation.
Dressing in layers is also important because it keeps you from getting overheated indoors. There’s nothing worse than coming in from the freezing cold, only to start immediately sweating. Rapid temperature changes can also cause illness, so be sure to prevent them.
If you control your home’s heating system, keep the temperature at 65 degrees or warmer. You should be spending much of your time at home during the winter and avoiding the elements if possible. If it’s too cold inside your home, you expose yourself to possible cold or flu.
Keeping hearing aids warm
It’s especially important to keep your ears and head warm to protect your hearing aids. Just like you, hearing aids don’t like extreme weather! Too hot or too cold temperatures could cause them to malfunction. Keep your head covered with scarves, hats, or earmuffs.
There are also cool hearing aid accessories best suited for winter weather, such as hearing aid sweatbands that wick away sweat. You should also consider buying a hearing aid dry box or dehumidifier—hearing aids get easily get sweaty when you’re wrapped up in a scarf and hat and that added moisture can harm them. It’s a tricky balancing act, but it’s best to keep warm and then dry out your hearing aids each night.
It’s crucial to stay toasty and cozy in the winter, to protect yourself from illness and injury. Keep up your activity level by shoveling, walking inside, or doing some laps at an indoor pool. Whatever you do, stay safe and warm!