You know a leaf blower can do a number on your hearing or a loud rock concert can make your ears ring for days. But there are all sorts of surprising everyday items that can have an impact on your hearing, and you don’t want to wait until you’re collecting Social Security to take action—Millenials are losing their hearing, too. From your kitchen to your yard, your medicines to your health conditions, here are things that affect your ears. Take a listen.
A hairdryer near your head could be putting out 85 or more decibels of noise. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 dB is when people are at risk for hearing loss, says the National Institutes of Health. 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. It might not do immediate damage, but over time it will. Avoid the noise by learning the best ways to air-dry hair.
You know what it was like when you came home after a loud concert: The ringing in your ears was a sure sign the music was too loud. But 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. Sticking with volume at or below 60 percent will keep the sound at a safe level. If you can’t hear at that volume, buy sound-blocking headphones to cut out the outside noise.
This isn’t a problem now, but when normal life resumes, exercise classes are often very, very loud. The music blasting at your group workout 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. You can download an app to your smartphone to measure the sound level around you throughout your day. Consider using hearing protection if your fitness center is particularly noisy. In the meantime, while you’re working out at home, don’t blast the music too loud.
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.
The racket from lawnmowers, jackhammers, leaf blowers, 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.
Not a lot of people are taking trains and buses right now. But 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. “
Dr. Swamy explains why he wears hearing protection while cleaning:
Have you experienced ringing after being exposed to loud sounds? Do you frequently have to ask others “What” or “Huh”? Is it difficult to understand others in crowds? It’s time to get your hearing checked! Call us today for a complimentary hearing consultation.
At Clear Sound Audiology, we also provide custom hearing protection so that you can comfortably protect your ears while working, commuting, or exercising. Call us today for more information!