As the world emerges from its slumber, thoughts turn toward lemonade, sunshine and… yard-work induced hearing damage.
While hearing protection is important for anyone who has ears, it’s critical for those of us who suffer from Tinnitus. And something as simple as mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges can have a dramatic impact on our general well-being.
What Can Cause Damage to the Ears
Did you know that gas-powered leaf blowers, lawnmowers and other garden tools can produce sound levels of 95 to 105 decibels? That level of intensity is considered safe to the ear for the open ear for no longer than 45 minutes or so. Anything longer than that runs the risk of permanent hearing damage.
Got fallen branches to trim? Watch out. Chain saws can register as much as 125 decibels, safe for no longer that 2 minutes!
Ear plugs and ear muffs can cut that risk by around 15-30 decibels, increasing the length of safe exposure. Both are rated by their decibel level and it’s a good idea to purchase the highest decibel (dB) rating you can find.
Not only that, you should know how to use them. Ear muffs are pretty self explanatory but foam ear plugs are often worn incorrectly. The video below, courtesy of The University of Colorado, shows you how to properly use foam earplugs to protect your precious ears.