Summer is a great time to catch up on some much-needed yardwork. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, weed whacking, planting tulips in your garden or even putting together a new deck, you’ll likely be exposing yourself to a large amount of loud noise. Loud noise exposure can be dangerous. The CDC found that “17% of adults aged 20–69 years (approximately 26 million) have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.”
Let’s look at how you can protect your hearing while accomplishing all your yardwork tasks this summer.
Wear Ear Protection
Loud machinery like weed whackers and lawnmowers can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Wearing ear protection, such as earmuffs and earplugs, can help shield you from hearing damage.
Forego The Music
Yardwork can sometimes feel a little dull. A lot of people may choose to listen to music while working to pass the time. While music can be entertaining, the volume may cause further damage to your ears. In order to hear the music over the sound of a lawnmower, many people will turn up the volume to an uncomfortable and likely dangerous level. Deciding to forego the music while doing yardwork can help prevent excessive noise damage and save you from future hearing loss.
Try Electric Machines
Gas mowers and weed whackers are much louder than their electric counterparts. Not only will switching to quieter electric machines make your neighbors happy, but it could also save your ears from significant noise damage and help prevent future hearing loss.
It’s easy to get into the groove of yardwork and try to finish it all at once. But giving yourself breaks will allow your ears time to rest. Try splitting up your yardwork by activity or section. For instance, you could take an hour break between weed whacking and mowing or between mowing your front and back yard. If you aren’t pressed for time, maybe try splitting the work up across several days. You can use the time to check out the local plant deals at the Portland Farmers Market. You might find something new for your yard, and your ears will be grateful for the chance to recover from the noise.
Call Mt. Hood ENT & Allergy today to discuss hearing loss with one of our trusted audiologists.