Three things come with summer: splashing in the pool, sounds of ocean waves, and lawnmowers. While you want to keep your lawn neat and healthy, the noise produced by the lawnmower might be damaging your ears.
How much noise do lawnmowers make?
Reel mowers aren’t loud. Most people term the noise to be the same as that made by loud rain hitting the driveway.
Electric lawn mowers make up to 75 dB of sound. While their engines are quiet, the blades spin at ultra-high speeds hence the noise.
Gas-powered mowers are much louder than electric mowers. Push lawn mowers produce an average of 85 dB while riding mowers produce 90 dB.
If you have had your lawnmower for a while and you don’t take good care of it, it’s bound to be noisier.
What happens when you don’t protect your hearing when mowing?
Many homeowners think that ear protection when mowing is only necessary for professionals. Nothing can be as far from the truth like this.
Even if you mow your lawn once a week, when you do it for several months without wearing any form of ear protection, you risk suffering from noise-induced hearing loss.
This is a condition that comes about when the loud noise damages the hair cells that trigger chemicals that are translated to the sound you can recognize.
Once the hair cells are damaged, you can’t fix them. They also don’t grow back.
How can you protect your ears when mowing?
There are three main ways you can protect your hearing when mowing your lawn:
Wearing protective ear gear
Two of the most popular protective gear are earplugs and headphones for mowing. Earplugs are often made from foam, and they are cheap. You can get a box of up to 200 disposable pairs for as little as $20.
You can buy disposable or reusable earplugs. The key to keeping off the lawnmower noise using earplugs is to wear them properly.
Roll the earplugs between your index finger and thumb until they are small enough to fit the ear. You should then slowly insert them in the ear and give them a few seconds to expand and fill the ear canal, creating a seal.
If you are using disposable earplugs, dispose of them after one or two uses. Don’t use them more than this as they will be ineffective and fail to give you the noise protection you are looking for.
Dirty earplugs also cause ear diseases.
When it comes to reusable earplugs, use them until you feel them no longer giving you a tight fit. At this time you should replace them.
Just like earplugs, headphones also require a good fit to keep the lawnmower noise. Headphones are expensive, so you can’t afford to throw them away when they fail to fit your years.
You should always ensure that you get properly fitting headphones at the time of purchase. If buying from a physical store, try out the headphones, and ensure they are properly fitting.
If buying online, try out the headphones as soon as you receive them. Return them to the seller if they aren’t properly fitting. To have an easy return, buy from a store with a strong return policy.
For optimum noise protection when wearing the headphones, ensure that the cushioning completely covers the ears. The cushioning should also make contact with the head all the way around.
Limit your exposure to the noise
The second way you can protect your ears from damage is to limit the amount of time you are exposed to the lawnmower noise.
If you have a large yard, you should take breaks in between. For example, take a break every two hours. This is to relieve the ears.
If you have a budget, hire a professional to mow the lawn for you. Remember that even when you hire a professional, and you stay in the house, you will still be exposing your ears to the noise, so walk out of the house.
Keep the volume low
If you love listening to music when mowing, watch out as you might be damaging your hearing. As a rule of thumb, avoid raising the volume too high.
It’s normal to find that you can still hear the lawnmower noise even when wearing your headphones, so you are tempted to raise the volume to drown it. If this is the case with you, consider investing in noise-canceling headphones.
These headphones will block the lawnmower noise allowing you to listen to your music.
Unless you are using a reel mower, you should always protect your hearing when mowing. For you to get the most from ear protection devices, ensure they provide a good fit, and are comfortable.
If you have a large yard, take breaks to reduce the amount of time you are exposed to the noise. You can also hire a professional if you have the budget.
Wearing proper noise protection devices when mowing not only protects you from noise-induced hearing loss, but it also ensures that you have fun mowing. Unless you are using a reel mower.