Protect your ears
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 – Millennials 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.
Types 1 and 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol affect almost every cell in the body – including the ears. Vibrations from tiny hair cells in your ears send your brain messages about what you’re hearing, but those cells need proper blood flow. “All those hair cells are fed nutrients by tiny little capillaries,” says audiologist Craig A. Kasper. “If there’s any problem with blood flow, you’re not going to get those hair cells to grow.” People who have diabetes, for instance, are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than the rest of the population, he says.
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 of hearing loss, says the US 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, says clinical audiologist Kit Frank. “The more you use [blow-dryers] and the longer you use them, the more likely you are to have damage,” she says. “It might not do immediate damage, but over time it will.”