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Protect your hearing while maintaining the lawn
Protect Your Hearing While Maintaining The Lawn

Protect your hearing while maintaining the lawn

Thursday, June 27, 2024


What does your summer sound like? The splish-splash from the swimming pool. Children’s laughter at the park. Singing birds as you enjoy a morning coffee.  

However, not all summer sounds benefit your health, especially when it comes to lawn care.  

Yes, you heard that right. 

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, hearing loss is the third most prevalent physical condition in older adults. Forty-eight million Americans have hearing loss, while another 28 million could benefit from hearing aids.  

Proactive protection is the best way to prevent hearing damage. Sound is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel reading, the louder the sound. According to the American Academy of Audiology, steady exposure to sounds louder than 85 dB can be harmful. When loud noises strike small hair cells inside the ear, they become damaged, says the National Council on Aging. Once those hair cells are destroyed, they can't be restored. 


Decibel level comparisons: 

  • A quiet library is 40 dB. 

  • Typical conversation chatter measures 60 dB. 

  • An alarm clock rings at 80 dB.  

  • A car horn blows at 110 dB. 

  • Jet takeoffs propel at 120 dB. 

  • Gunshots fire at 140 dB. 

Lawn mowers average 90 dB of loudness, the same level as power tools. Gas-powered string trimmers and leaf blowers can produce similar amounts. Even if we use a tool for a few minutes, hearing damage can still occur. Prolonged exposure to unsafe sounds can lead to permanent harm.  


Invest in your hearing 

While plenty of money can be spent on the fanciest new zero-turn mower and lawn treatments, don’t forget to fund your hearing protection.  

Several brands of protective headphones are available, ranging from traditional earmuffs to Bluetooth-connected sets that connect to your phone. It’s essential to research the best headphones for you, based on purpose and Noise Reduction Ratings, often labeled as NRR to indicate the level of protection provided. Many sets range from $20 to $120. 

Wearing earplugs in addition to headphones can also increase protection when using larger commercial mowing equipment. 

Consult your doctor about being tested if you think you could benefit from a hearing exam. Signs of hearing loss can include difficulty hearing crickets chirping, doorbells or someone talking in group conversations. Testing is available to people of all ages.  

So, if you want to keep up with the Joneses with your picture-perfect yard, be sure your hearing is protected so you can still catch all the neighborhood gossip. 


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.