Surprising Causes of Hearing Loss
There are many known risks for hearing loss and exposure to noise, of many kinds, is one of the leading causes. But you might be surprised to learn just how many common, everyday noise exposures you encounter in and around your own house! Knowing what these are and learning to take prevent measures, may very well spare your hearing in the future.
Watch this video to learn more: Surprising Causes of Hearing Loss
A hairdryer near your head could be putting out 85 or more decibels of noise—the point that the National Institutes of Health says could put you at risk for hearing loss. You’d probably have to dry your hair for eight hours straight before it did any damage, but that loud part of your beauty regime could add up over time. The more you use blow dryers and the longer you use them, the more likely you are to have damage. Avoid the noise by learning the best ways to air-dry hair.
Loud music concerts
The ringing in your ears after a loud concert is a sure sign the music was too loud, but live shows aren’t the only culprit. Even the tunes coming through your headphones could damage your ears. Earbuds are typically more damaging than over-the-ear headphones because they rest deeper in your ear canal. And if you crank up the volume to drown out the noise around you, things get even riskier. You typically have to compete with the environmental noise to hear the music. Sticking with volume at or below 60 percent will keep the sound at a safe level, he says. If you can’t hear at that volume, buy sound-blocking headphones to cut out the outside noise.
As if a high fever weren’t bad enough, that elevated temperature could also damage the nerves in your inner ear, either because of inflammation or lack of oxygen. If you don’t get that oxygen to the nerves, they break down and they don’t work like they should. If you or your loved one has an elevated fever, call your doctor to determine the cause of the fever and the best remedy for it.
Public transportation can be noisy, and sitting on a subway for half an hour to and from work could add up over time and hurt your ears. Plus, the siren of an emergency vehicle passing you on the street could be loud enough to do some damage. Don’t feel embarrassed to cover your ears when the firetruck passes by!
The music blasting at your group workout class might power you through your sweat session, but it might be working your ears in a bad way. If you walk out of spin classes and your ears are buzzing, that’s an indication that you may have done damage to your ears. Download an app to your smartphone to measure the sound level around you throughout your day, especially in loud spots like the gym, he recommends. No one is telling you to stop working out, but consider using hearing protection if your fitness center is particularly noisy. Or find a gym that doesn’t rely on loud music during workouts.
Noisy appliances like blenders and coffee grinders could do damage to your ears over time. The more often you get those noisy blades going, the more trauma your ears go through. Hard-core chefs should consider ear protection, though the occasional smoothie isn’t anything to worry about. If you’re in the kitchen and cooking and using a blender all day, that’s a problem. For normal weekend chefs, not to worry. If you use it for ten seconds once a week, it probably won’t be a problem for you.
The racket from lawn mowers, jackhammers, drills, and other power tools isn’t just a headache—it’s also a risk for hearing damage. You’ll need to protect your ears, but earplugs might not be the best choice. Putting fingers grimy from the tools so close to your ear canal could put you at risk for infection. Instead, pick up a pair of earmuffs from the hardware store. They go right over the ear, and they’re easy to take on and off.