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Ensure your hearing is a cut above the rest this spring

27 April, 2016
Noisy gardening or power tools can have a negative impact on your hearing health

The sun is beginning to come out from behind the clouds again and many of us are desperate to get back in the garden to get them looking their best for summer.

Make your time in the garden as enjoyable as possible

Lawn mowers and hedge trimmers will be running at full throttle throughout the warmer months as we do our best to ensure our backyards and gardens look great ahead of entertaining family and friends at barbeques and social gatherings. Hearing the birds sing is part of what makes spending time in the garden so enjoyable but many people don’t even think about how their hearing is affected by everyday gardening tasks such as mowing the grass - you could be damaging your hearing without even realising it.

It’s important to be mindful of the impact that noisy gardening or power tools can have on your hearing health. Whether you are using gardening tools yourself or are simply outside enjoying some sunshine you are likely to be exposed to potentially hazardous noise levels.

Hearing advice from a professional

During National Gardening Week, Nick Taylor, chief audiologist at Specsavers Audiologists, explains the importance of protecting your hearing when spending time in the garden this summer.

He said: ‘A sound's loudness is measured in decibels (dB). In general, sounds above 85 dB are harmful, depending on how often and how long we are exposed to them, and whether you wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs.

‘Even a lawn mower can reach 90dB, so it is well worth thinking about wearing a form of hearing protection when taking part in gardening chores at home this summer. The effects of noise on hearing vary and some people's ears are more sensitive to loud sounds, especially at certain frequencies. But any sound that is loud enough and lasts long enough can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss.

‘I suggest wearing ear plugs when in the garden. Wearing hearing protection ensures dangerous noises from loud machines are muted without completely eliminating the sound of speech or birdsong. Specsavers offers effective, instant and custom-fit hearing protection to cut out background noise without blocking out the sounds you want to hear.’

Regular hearing checks

Specsavers Audiologists recommend that everyone over the age of 55 has their hearing checked once a year. Incorporating hearing checks into your regular healthcare routine means your hearing can be monitored by a professional to ensure any deterioration is managed in the best way possible.

Nick added: ‘Hearing loss is something that happens gradually over time, so more often than not, people wait until their hearing loss is severe before seeking help. That’s why it’s important to look out for the signs like having the TV turned up uncomfortably loud for others in the room and to book in for a hearing appointment as part of your regular healthcare routine.’

Find your nearest audiologists