As any homeowner can attest, mowing the lawn is a mundane, yet necessary activity to maintain the appearance of your yard. But what some people may not realize is that this simple task can be hazardous to your hearing health.
"Really anything over 20 minutes with a lawnmower can really start to impact your hearing," said Taiha Wagner, a hearing instrument specialist from Miracle-Ear in Crystal.
Wagner says that lawnmowers produce a noise around 90-100 decibels. It's a sound that's loud enough to damage your hearing if you don't wear ear protection.
"All those lawnmowers, weed wackers, boat motors, are all over a hundred decibels," Wagner said. "And anything that is over 85 decibels for any prolonged period of time will cause hearing damage."
Yet it's not just motors people need to worry about. With the Fourth of July approaching, firecrackers that are on sale at the stands popping up around the Twin Cities can have the same sort of impact.
Experts say fire crackers can reach 125 decibels. The fireworks stands warn people about the sound they can emit, but it's up to consumers to protect themselves.
"You're gonna want to use some hearing protection to preserve the hearing that you've got," Wagner said.
There are several popular options for people looking for hearing protection, ranging from earmuffs you'd wear while cutting the grass, to ear plugs you would wear at a concert or sporting event.
"These hearing protection devices here I just got at a local hardware store," Wagner said, referring to earmuffs and ear plugs. "None of them are over $20, so it's a very economical way to protect your hearing."
An economical solution that requires less effort than the act of mowing your lawn.
Meanwhile, experts say noise-induced hearing loss can happen at any age. Some of the common warning signs include having difficulty following conversations, thinking that noises sound muffled, or having a ringing in your ears.
June 27, 2017