The Rise in Popularity for Hand Dryers
Think about how often you use the automatic hand dryers in public restrooms or a hair dryer at home. For most Americans, this is a daily part of our lives. As you know, extensive exposure to loud noises may cause hearing loss or tinnitus, but how about being exposed for a short amount of time to sounds that are more mild?
According to The Guardian, hand dryers were first introduced to the public in 1922 by the American Zephyr Company who claimed they had created a “warm air towel” that could dry your hands in 36 seconds. Hand dryers have only become widely used in the past 10 to 20 years.
The main reason why using hand dryers became so popular is because of the environmentally-friendly factor. There was less paper waste. Also, less toilets became clogged when paper towels were not available.
Hand dryers are also more efficient at drying hands, and most believe that using hand dryers is more hygienic than using paper towels. There has been a 12% growth in hand dryer sales since 2014, and those sales are rising.
The Rise in Popularity for Hair Dryers
According to Statista, a survey was conducted on women’s hair dryer usage between 2015 and 2017. In 2015, 70% of women across the globe used a hair dryer. This percentage rose to 75% in 2016, and 79% in 2017.
Like hand dryers, this gradual up-tick in the usage of hair dryers raised the question of whether it’s safe for your hearing health to use a hair dryer on a daily basis.
Dryers and Your Hearing Health
Both hair and hand dryers generate sound that can reach between 80 to 90 decibels. This level cannot instantly cause damage to your hearing, being exposed to these noises every day may accumulate over time, eventually causing hearing loss.
Hair dryers funnel sounds directly into your ears. For children, hand dryers are located at their ear level. A 13-year-old student named Nora Keegan did research on hand dryers. She studied the decibel levels and heights of hand dryers for a school assignment and created a solution to muffle the sound: air filters. These air filters have been shown to reduce the decibel level by 11 dBA!
People can begin to show signs of hearing loss when exposed to 90 decibels of continuous sound. This is approximately the same level of decibels in hand and hair dryers. These devices have become more and more popular, so there’s a higher chance that anyone can experience hearing damage from these common sounds.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced hearing loss due to hand and/or hair dryers, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a hearing test and consultation. We offer a variety of hearing aid solutions for a wide range of hearing loss.