Lawn mowing is a noisy affair.
Push and riding lawn mowers make up to 90dB of noise which can damage your ears in 2 ½ hours resulting in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Once you lose your hearing from the loud lawnmower noise, you can’t recover it, so you must prevent it from coming about in the first place.
Luckily, you can do it in different ways. These ways include:
Made from silicone, polyurethane, soft plastic or PVC, earplugs easily fit and block the ear canal.
In addition to being affordable, earplugs are easy to find even in your local store.
Many types of earplugs go at different prices and differ in effectiveness.
The most common ones being:
Made from soft foam materials, disposable earplugs give you a tight fit when you use the right ones.
From their name, you should dispose of them immediately after use.
At most, wear them twice.
They are made from soft silicone or plastic materials.
Since the material is tough, you can use the earplugs a few times before disposing them of.
To avoid ear infections, clean the earplugs after every use.
While they last for a slightly longer time than disposable earplugs, you will still have to replace them.
The best time to do it is when the pieces stop giving you a tight fit.
They form an excellent alternative for when you can’t get a good fit from traditional earplugs.
The pieces are made from silicone or wax materials and then molded into the bowl of the ear.
From their name, custom earplugs are made specifically for your ears.
You have to visit a healthcare professional who takes an ear mold impression of your ear and sends it to an earplug manufacturer who then makes earplugs for you.
Since these earplugs are made just for your ears, they provide the highest levels of sound protection.
The only caveat is that they are a little bit expensive.
Regardless of the earplugs you choose, ensure that you wear them correctly.
To avoid transferring germs, wash your hands thoroughly, then roll the pieces between your fingers and across your palm.
You should then pull your ear outward and upward then insert the earplug and hold it in place until it expands.
Also known as ear defenders or earmuffs, headphones are made from hard plastic.
Properly worn headphones for mowing surround the ears and seal them from the noise coming from the lawnmower.
For you to get the most from the headphones, buy the right size.
You also should pay attention to the noise reduction rating of the headphones.
Aim for those with a high rating as they give the best results.
For the headphones to last for long, you need to take good care of them.
When mowing, ensure that the headphones are correctly fitting so that they don’t fall and get damaged by the lawnmower.
When you are done with mowing, carefully clean the headphones and store them in a dry place away from dirt and other damaging materials.
Keep the Volume Down
If you love listening to music when mowing, you should watch out as you could be damaging your hearing.
Most people raise the volume to drown the lawnmower noise, which ends up being harmful in the long run.
To protect yourself, turn the volume up just enough to hear the music comfortably.
The rule of thumb is to never raise the music to more than 60% of the maximum volume of the headphones.
If you can afford it, invest in noise-cancelling headphones.
These cancel the outside noise, so you don’t have to raise the volume to listen to the music.
Give Ears Time to Recover
If you have a large lawn, it takes you hours to complete mowing it.
Even when wearing ear protection devices, some noise might still be passing through and getting to your ears.
When you are exposed to this noise for a long time, you will still be putting your ears at risk.
To protect yourself, take a five-minute break after every hour.
This gives your ears time to recover, reducing your chances of developing noise-induced hearing loss.
Wear Canal Caps
On a casual look, canal caps seem like a combination of earmuffs and earplugs.
They feature rounded heads that cover the entire ear canal entrance.
For you to maintain an effective seal when wearing them, apply firm pressure from the headband.
Get Regular Checkups
In addition to wearing hearing protection devices, you also should get regular ear checkups.
Ask your primary care provider to incorporate hearing screenings in your checkups.
This way, you can identify signs of hearing loss and take the necessary action as soon as possible.