Should You Wear Ear Protection While Mowing?
Many homeowners ask, “should you wear ear protection while mowing even when you aren’t a professional?”
The answer is a resounding yes. You should wear ear protection even if you mow once a month.
What are the dangers of loud lawnmower noise?
When you subject yourself to the lawnmower noise for a long time, you risk suffering from noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss comes about due to permanent damage to the tiny hair cells in the ears that send sounds to the brain.
Dead or damaged hair cells can’t trigger electrical signals to the brain; therefore, you can’t hear.
When you have noise-induced hearing loss, you show several symptoms that include:
- Trouble understanding what other people are saying. You may hear people as if they are mumbling.
- Loud pain in the ears after loud noise exposure
- You unknowingly speak louder than other people. You may also find yourself shouting.
- You suffer from tinnitus. These are ringing, roaring, whooshing, or buzzing sounds in your ears.
Since you can’t reverse the damage of the hair cells, noise-induced hearing loss is permanent.
While this is the case, doctors have several treatment options on how to improve your hearing.
One of the most common ways is fitting you with hearing aids. The doctor will analyze your condition and fit your hearing aids that fit your needs and lifestyle.
In addition to suffering from noise-induced hearing loss, other effects of loud noise exposure include:
- High blood pressure
- Depression due to hearing loss
- Increased heart rate
- Isolation due to loss of hearing
How can you protect your hearing when mowing?
There are plenty of ways in which you can protect your hearing when mowing your lawn. Some of these ways include:
Wearing hearing protection
The purpose of the hearing protection devices is to prevent the lawnmower noise from getting into your ears. The most common ear protection devices you can wear are earplugs.
These are small pieces made of silicone.
You need to coil them and insert them into your ears, and they seal the ear canals providing you with a quiet mowing experience.
There are disposable and reusable earplugs.
You dispose of the disposable earplugs from their names once you are done with your work and wash and reuse the reusable earplugs.
You can buy the earplugs from your local stores or online.
When purchasing the pieces, pay close attention to the brand and quality of the units. To save money, buy the pieces in bulk.
For you to get the most from the units, wear them properly. When you insert them into the ears, give them time to expand to fill your ears properly.
If you are using disposable units, get rid of them once you are done with mowing.
Before you wear the pieces, always inspect them for any issues, they might be having. If damaged or worn out, get rid of them.
The other hearing protection options you can go with are earmuffs. These are large ear protectors often made from plastic.
They completely cover the ears reducing the noise levels by 15-30 dB. Depending on the noise your lawnmower is making, you can wear both earplugs and earmuffs.
Just like with earplugs, you can buy earmuffs from your local store or online. When buying, pay attention to the fit and comfort of the pieces.
You don’t want units that make lawn mowing more uncomfortable than it already is.
Stay away from the lawnmower.
Can you avoid using the lawnmower? Go ahead and do it. You do this by hiring a professional lawn mowing company to help you with the mowing.
While the company will cost you money to hire, you won’t subject yourself to the lawn mowing machine noise; hence you won’t put yourself at the risk of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss.
When the mowing company arrives, stay away from your lawn as much as possible.
You can even go out of your home until the mowing professional is done.
Fix your lawnmower
Most of the lawnmower noise comes from the lawnmower blades. You can tell this when the mowing belt gets cut. The lawnmower goes silent.
Lawnmowers produce around 90dB of noise. The levels can go up or down depending on the type of lawnmower and its efficiency levels.
As mentioned, most of the lawnmower noise results from the lawn mowing blades.
The blades lift and cut the grass. To do so, they have to rotate quickly, creating buffeting noises against the air.
To protect your hearing, pay attention to the blades. Sharpen them if they are dull.
You also should consider replacing them if you have had them for a long time.
If you find the lawnmower louder than normal, the chances are that there loose parts or any other problem. Inspect the screws and bolts and ensure they are tight.
This reduces the chances of the engine ratting against the deck.
Sometimes all you need to do to reduce the noise is to lubricate the moving parts. Identify the moving parts of your machine and lubricate them if need be.
Turn the volume down.
Are you one of the people that love listening to the radio while lawn mowing? You should be cautious of the amount of noise you expose your ears to.
To drown the lawnmower noise, you have to raise the radio volume too high, which is damaging to the ears.
Avoid trying to drown the mower sounds with louder sounds, but if you have to listen to the radio while mowing, be cautious of the volume.