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Does mowing the lawn damage your hearing?


Does mowing the lawn hurt your hearing?

If you live in a typical urban environment, you may be exposed to extremely high levels of noise - including noise levels known to have adverse health effects. Research estimates that around 10% of the UK population lives in areas with daytime sound levels above 65 decibels. Sources of sound range from modes of transportation (cars, trains, and airplanes) to construction-related noise and innocuous sources like barking dogs and car sirens. But did you know that your lawnmower also makes ambient noise?


summer sound

A study conducted a few years ago found that the mild hum of a lawnmower is the sound most Britons associate with summer. This "soft hum" is about 90 decibels, well above the limit that the human ear considers safe. Any sound above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, depending on your exposure. You may sometimes not even notice the noise of the lawn mower, or may just turn it up; but the fact remains that the sound can take a toll on your hearing. Exposure to loud noises can damage the delicate hair cells in the ears. We have a limited number of hair cells and our body cannot rejuvenate them, so hearing loss is permanent.

what can you do

You are often urged to use proper foot and eye protection when operating your lawnmower. However, ear protection is not always emphasized. Now that you know the whirr of your lawnmower can hurt your ears, it's not too late to take precautions. Earplugs or earmuffs are an absolute must when mowing the lawn. Disposable foam earplugs are readily available and very cheap. Alternatively, you can buy a good pair of earmuffs that offer more hearing protection than earplugs. They're certainly more expensive than earbuds, but it's a worthwhile investment to make sure your hearing isn't compromised. In addition to making sure you are adequately protected, make sure your child is not exposed to the sound of the lawn mower. Their ears are more fragile than adults' ears and therefore more prone to damage.


Protect your hearing