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April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

April Is National Lawn and Garden Month

Celebrate by Protecting Your Hearing

Spring has sprung, and so has the annual cornucopia of sounds: birds singing, children laughing, neighbors chatting — and lawn equipment.

 

Your Loud Lawn

Maintaining your burgeoning plant life is a noisy affair. Once you’ve used the mower, leaf blower, chain saw, and string trimmer, your ears have put up with quite a racket.

In fact, around 40 million U.S. adults aged 20–69 years (about one in four) have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) — and more than half of those don’t have a noisy job. So how noisy is lawn care, exactly?

 

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing happens when the hair cells in your inner ear convert sound signals to electrical signals, and these electrical signals get sent to your brain to be interpreted as sounds.

Every hair cell that gets damaged, then, means less hearing ability. NIHL is hearing damage caused by exposure to loud noise, which damages your hair cells.

 

How Loud Is Too Loud?

You might be thinking, “OK, but how loud can all my lawn gear actually be?”

Your hedge trimmer alone can damage your hearing after seven or eight minutes of unprotected exposure.

The key to navigating your loud lawn is decibels, the basic unit of sound intensity. Sounds below 85 decibels (dB) are safe for unprotected human ears. At 85 dB and above, you’re in the action zone: Take steps to protect your ears or risk hearing damage.

 

The Decibel Levels of Lawn Care

Let’s take a look at some common yard-care machines and the decibel outputs they inflict on your unprotected ears. For comparison, a typical indoor conversation is about 60 dB.

  • Push or riding lawn mower. At 90 dB, hearing damage can occur in 2.5 hours.
  • Edger/string trimmer. At 96 dB, hearing damage can occur in 38 minutes.
  • Leaf blower. At 99 dB, hearing damage can occur in 19 minutes.
  • Pressure washer. At 100 dB — just one more decibel than a leaf blower — hearing damage can occur in 15 minutes rather than 19 minutes.
  • Hedge trimmer. At 103 dB, hearing damage can occur in 7.5 minutes.
  • Chain saw. At a whopping 110 dB, hearing damage starts after 1.5 minutes.

 

Hearing Protection

With output like that, it’s no wonder NIHL is so common. But that prevalence hides an important fact: NIHL can be easily and inexpensively prevented with hearing protection.

Hearing protection is a proven, effective way to minimize the risk of hearing damage, and it doesn’t have to mean a muffled, plugged experience for the wearer. You can get earplugs for as little as a few dollars for 20 pairs at a pharmacy, but there are also over-the-counter options that allow conversation to come through but block loud noises. You can even buy custom-fit earplugs that match the contours of your ears for maximum comfort.

Lawn care doesn’t have to hurt your hearing — contact us to set up a hearing protection consultation!

Better Hearing and Speech Month: 5 Tips to Step Up Your Hearing Game

Did you know? About 360 million children and adults — more than ve percent of the global population — have disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization.

The good news? Not only can most hearing loss be helped with state-of-the-art hearing technology or other options, but simple steps can help you prevent some types of hearing impairment altogether. With the 90th celebration of Better Hearing Month just around the corner in May, here are ve tips to help you and your loved ones take charge for better hearing every day.

Know the Signs
Frequently asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the TV, having di culty understanding phone conversations, complaining about noise or earaches — these
and other signs point to potential hearing loss. Detecting it early can reduce the risk of academic, social, physical, and other problems.

Curb Noise Exposure
More than 31 million Americans ages 6 to 69 have permanent hearing damage due to noise, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reducing exposure to sounds above 85 decibels, curbing use of MP3 players, and wearing earplugs even when mowing or using leaf blowers, snowblowers, and weed wackers can go a long way.

Partner With Your School
Teachers and administrators are critical to helping kids hear their best during the school day, with classroom seating arrangements, loop and FM systems, closed captioning, and other supportive options. They can also identify possible signs of hearing loss, such as decreased engagement and changes in grades or behaviors.

Keep Hearing Aids in Top Shape
If you or your loved ones are already hearing better through today’s advanced hearing technology, help keep the devices in their best shape with a professional clean and check. Also, keep extra batteries on hand at home and on the go.

Get a Hearing Checkup
Take the whole family for professional hearing evaluations at least once a year, just as you would for their eyes or teeth. Timing the visits before summer camp or the new school year, for example, can help you catch any hearing di culties before they a ect your child’s learning and development.

Our audiology experts are here to help you and your loved ones hear your best. For more tips on taking charge of your hearing health or to schedule a hearing evaluation, call our o ce today.