When we think of things that can cause hearing loss, loud music, jackhammers, and sirens come to mind.
But there’s one device many women use daily that could be contributing to hearing loss: the hair dryer.
“The decibels that most hair dryers run at are in the high 80s and we know that any exposure to noise levels in that range is going to result in hearing loss,” Erin Stauder, the executive director of the Hearing and Speech Agency in Baltimore, told WMAR. “Most of the time, people notice it over time but short-term or acute events can absolutely damage the hearing.”
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), exposure to sounds over 75 decibels is more likely to cause hearing loss later on in life than exposure to those under 75 decibels.
Other examples of noises in this category: heavy city traffic, motorcycles, and fireworks.
NIDCD suggests, “A good rule of thumb is to avoid noises that are too loud, too close, or last too long.”
As for hair dryers, hearing loss will likely occur in people who are around the sound for an extended period of time — like hairstylists. Erin suggests that those who expose themselves to hair dryers on a daily basis should use protective measures — like noise-canceling headphones or earbuds.
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Footage and photos provided by WMAR Baltimore
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