Rock concerts and MP3 players aren’t the only culprits when it comes to hearing loss. Read on to learn more about three surprisingly common things that can harm your hearing, and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
A hairdryer might be an important part of your morning beauty routine, but it could have serious risks for your hearing health. Experts estimate that noises over 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss, particularly if prolonged exposure is a factor. Therefore, with the capacity of producing noise in excess of 100 dB, your hairdryer definitely belongs in this “at risk” category, especially if you are using it every day.
Protect yourself: If possible, choose a low dB model of hairdryer. When using it, hold it as far away from your ear as you can, and use its lowest (and quietest) speed setting. In addition, make sure to keep the filter clean, as a dirty or clogged-up motor will produce more noise.
Working with a sample population of 60,000 women, a recently published study in the American Journal of Advanced Epidemiology reported that, of those participants who took ibuprofen six or more days each week, close to 25% experienced some degree of hearing loss. Those who took ibuprofen only two or three days per week were still 13% more likely to report a decrease in their hearing ability. Medical experts believe that this phenomenon could be caused by the fact that ibuprofen can decrease blood flow to the cochlea and thus potentially impair its functioning.
Protect yourself: Talk to your doctor or health care professional to find alternative pain relief treatments that are safer for your hearing.
Popping your ears
Flying on an airplane or riding in a quickly moving elevator can cause pressure to build rapidly in the ears. To relieve this, many people “pop” their ears by blowing out through their mouth while holding their nose, or by sneezing. However, if done too forcefully, both these actions could result in permanent hearing damage from a torn eardrum.
Protect yourself: Patiently allowing the pressure to diffuse and equalize naturally may be a bit more uncomfortable, but it will help to safeguard your eardrums.
Information from Miracle Ear Blog