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 Craig A. Kasper, AuD, FAAA, chief audiology officer of New York Hearing Doctors. “If there’s any problem with blood flow, you’re not going to get those hair cells to grow.” Diabetics, for instance, are twice as likely to experience hearing loss than the rest of the population is, he says. Don’t miss these science-backed ways to reverse diabetes.
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, says Kit Frank, AuD, supervisory audiologist with NYU Langone Medical Center. “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.” Avoid the noise by learning the best ways to air-dry hair.