Protect Your Ears from Springtime Noise

As the weather keeps getting better, the more time we have to attend to outdoor and indoor chores. But one of the unforeseen consequences of staying busy and keeping active is the extensive exposure to harmful noises our ears have to endure. Whether it’s an afternoon session of mowing the lawn or vacuuming the house, these noises can accumulate over time to possibly result in symptoms of hearing loss if you’re not adequately protecting your ears. Here are a few tips to consider this spring and summer to defend your ears against any hazardous noise you might come across:

Lawn mowers and weed whackers
Nothing puts more stress on your ears than spending a few hours having to withstand the loud noises of lawn mowers or weed whackers. According to researchers from Purdue University, the average power lawn mower can produce around 100 dB, which is 15 dB more than the level where possible hearing damage can begin to occur. Wearing ear muffs when around these powerful lawn appliances is essential to preserving your hearing over time. Best of all, when you use various types of hearing protection while working outdoors, you can potentially lower the amount of decibels you’re hearing by upwards of 30 dB.

Vacuums
Whenever we have to get out the vacuum, we sort of just accept the loud noises these machines make as nothing more than a momentary annoyance. However, the sounds that are produced by vacuums have been calculated to reach more than 70 dB by Purdue University researchers, and the longer you expose yourself to this noise, the harder it can be on your hearing. A simple solution to protecting your ears while vacuuming is wearing ear plugs. These are a portable and mobile-friendly hearing protection option that can guard your ears against harmful noises and reduce dB levels. Best of all, you can always keep a pair with you at all times, in case you find yourself in a different noisy environment.

Shop tools
Anyone who has had to spend time in a shop or construction area knows how irritating the screeches and shrieks of appliances such as chainsaws and drills can be. But the truth is that these sounds are even more harmful to your ears. Your average chainsaw can potentially reach upward to 120 dB, and even momentarily leaving your hearing protection off of your ears can send sharp, painful noises directly at you. In addition to wearing hearing protection accessories, you can also look at the different noise protection grades of each product before you consider purchasing them. Finding a tool that produces softer noises than the competition can do you and your hearing wonders.

Music
Of course, arguably the most commonly used accessory when it comes to springtime noise is your personal music player. Blaring music at full volume through headphones is one of the more pressing issues resulting in hearing loss complications today, and cranking songs up in your ears will easily expose you to noises exceeding 85 dBs. A good rule of thumb to always practice is the 60/60 rule, in which you only listen to your music at a maximum of 60 percent volume while avoiding playing your device more than an hour a day.

Power washers
From watering the lawn to washing off the windows, power washers are a necessary component when it comes to springtime chores. Just because you don’t think the water shooting out of that nozzle is producing harmful sounds doesn’t mean you should risk not wearing hearing protection. The important thing to remember is it’s never a bad idea to take advantage of the safety earplugs and earmuffs provide.

Sources:
https://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafety/Training/PPETrain/dblevels.htm

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/ear_prot.html

http://farmsafewa.org/media/1294/Comparison%20of%20Hearing%20Protection.pdf

http://www.livescience.com/32783-how-loud-can-you-play-music-without-damaging-your-hearing.html

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