Spring Yard Work – How to Protect Your Hearing

Yardwork - Protect your hearing - Beltone of Iowa Blog

High Decibel Sounds of Spring Require Hearing Protection

Birds chirping. Kids playing. They’re all happy sounds of spring in Iowa. But add in lawnmowers and chain saws and you’ve got a real need for hearing protection.

After a traditional few months of winter hibernation, mowing the lawn, even clearing brush sounds like a nice change, especially since it gets you out in the sun and warmth. It’s hard to believe that a few rounds of spring cleaning in your yard can cause hearing loss.

Did you know that you can suffer hearing loss after mowing the lawn for just 15 minutes? It’s true. Other common outdoor activities have high decibel levels, too.

  • Gas-powered lawn mowers – between 86 to 99 decibels
  • Leaf blowers – up to 105 decibels
  • Weed whackers – up to 96 decibels
  • Power drills – up to 100 decibels
  • Chainsaw – 120 decibels
  • Hedge trimmer – 103 decibels

Not only are the sounds loud, in some cases, they can be downright painful. You know you need hearing protection.

Getting the Right Type of Hearing Protection

Anyone doing outdoor yard work that involves power tools needs to consistently use good hearing protection.

For hearing protection, your options are the foam earplugs you can purchase at a local pharmacy or over-the-ear headphones.

  • Foam earplugs can reduce noise exposures by approximately 20 decibels. They need to be air tight, though. So, rub them between your fingers to create a thin piece of foam. Once you get to this point, you can insert in your ear, hold in place until it expands and then it should cut down on noise efficiently.
  • Over-the-ear headphones are also a popular option. They need to fit well and if they have an AM/FM radio option, you want to make sure you don’t turn up the tunes too loud or you’re adding another risk to your hearing. Either hearing protection option can reduce noise by about 20 decibels if they fit snugly. If you use both earplugs and headphones, you can cut an additional 10-15 decibels.

It’s Rarely Too Late to Protect your Hearing

Regardless of how many years you’ve been mowing the lawn or using a leaf blower to clean up leaves, it’s rarely too late to learn how to protect your hearing. If you do think you’ve suffered hearing loss, talk with the professionals at Beltone of Iowa for proper testing and diagnosis. After all, no one wants the sounds of spring to turn into the sounds of silence.



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