One of the most valuable senses is the hearing, and when that is damaged to the degree that there is significant damage, it becomes a serious problem. Being subjected to loud noises, such as lawn mowers, edgers, weed eaters, hedge trimmers, and blowers for many hours a day can cause long term, or permanent, damage and hearing loss. This article helps those who do frequent lawn maintenance understand how the loud noises of the lawn and garden equipment can cause hearing loss, and the earplugs that can help prevent that hearing loss. Mentioned below is a quick comparison table of best hearing protection for lawn mowing:
Hearing Protection Made for Lawn Care Workers
There are a variety of hearing protection devices that are recommended for those using this noisy lawn equipment.Husqvarna 531300089 Professional Headband Hearing Protectors
One highly recommended hearing protection devices is the Husqvarna 531300089 headband hearing protector that attenuates the loud intense sounds produced by the lawn equipment. This device has a variety of great features:
- Padded to provide greater comfort
- Pressure adjustment
- Once size fits most people
- Not to be worn with a hardhat
Customers who purchased these hearing protectors stated that they found them to be extremely comfortable, and very effective in significantly reducing the noise to which they are exposed. Customers who had larger ears stated that even they were pleased with these hearing protectors because they are large enough to be comfortable, and the earpads are very soft and they fit quite well. The main complaints came from those who have medium to larger sized heads and found these to be somewhat tighter, and some said that these have to be removed to have a normal conversation.Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff
For high-tech type hearing protection, Honeywell’s Electronic Earmuff can’t be beaten. When it’s turned on, it has directional microphones which are built in and designed to amplify a range of sounds diminishing the ambient noise to a safer 82dB. This device actively “listens” to the volume of the sound and automatically lowers the sounds to the safer, healthier ranges providing a noise reduction rating of 22, and still allows conversational level to be clearly heard.
- Adjustable headband for a more comfortable fit
- Compact for easy storage
- Includes AUX input for connector to MP3 players
- Automatic shut-off after four hours
- Requires two AAA batteries
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Easy maintenance
Customers who purchased these loved the fact that they are so great at blocking the harmful noises, but allows the wearer to hear conversation at normal speaking volumes. There were no complaints.Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense -37dB NRR
For those people who want a very quiet and more comfortable ear muff for hearing protection, these Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense are excellent protection for reducing the noise level by up to 37dB. There are some great features with these ear muffs:
- Comfortable and very quiet
- Extra padding on the headband
- Compact and lightweight
- ANSI certified Ear Protection
- No batteries required
- Not for use with a hard hat
Customers who are very sensitive to loud noises find these to be an excellent choice in noise reduction ear muffs. They stated that these are comfortable, easy to adjust, and very well made. Several customers stated they were very pleased that these blocked out the loud noises but still allowed normal levels of conversation. One stated that the advertised rating is -37dB but the packaging states -34dB which is what OSHA certified these ear muffs as rating.3M Work Tunes Hearing Protector, MP3 Compatible with AM/FM Tuner
Wanting to hear music while doing the yard work with the noisy mowers and hedge trimmers, means choosing these 3M Work Tunes hearing protectors. These are functional and reduces noise by up to 24dB while providing great listening capabilities to tune into the favorite music on the MP3 player or AM/FM radio. Some of the features of this hearing protector include:
- Comfortable headband and ear cushions
- Secure battery compartment
- Contemporary design for buttons that are convenient and easy to use
- Improved grip over hears to reduce noise infiltration
- Bass Boost options for controlling the amount of bass
- Auto scan for finding radio stations
- Recessed input jack
- Connectors for MP3 or CD players, or scanners
- Antenna with high reception sensitivity
Customers stated that this had the best channel reception and exceptional reduction in attenuation and outside noise. The main complaint is allowing it to search for station before flipping through them.Best Sport Electronic Ear Muffs for Shooting and Hunting – Noise Cancelling Hearing and Ear Safety Protection
For reliable sound protection and amplification of up to five times the ambient sound for clear conversation, these Sport Electronic Ear Muffs are an excellent choice. Extremely loud sounds are muffled and barely heard, which make these the best headphones for mowing grass, using mowers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers. Some features of these ear muffs include:
- OSHA rating of 21dB decrease in muffling noise over 85dB
- Adjustable Band that fits almost every sized head
- Proper fit over ears for premium sound protection
- 100% guarantee
- 200 hours of battery life
- Compact and foldable
- Soft shell carrying case included
Customer stated they fit assorted head sizes and the ear cup is very comfortable. The carrying case is handy, and they are excellent to block out the loud noises and amplifying voices for continued conversation. One customer complained that it didn’t reduce the decibel range enough for their over sensitive ears.
The Importance of Knowing About Noise Levels
For lawn maintenance personnel, the constant exposure from the volume of the lawn and garden equipment oftentimes results in that annoying “ringing in the ears” which is one of the first signs of damage that is being done to the hearing. After prolonged periods of exposure to these loud volumes, permanent hearing loss can be the result. In order to better understand the sound level and duration of exposure, consider the following chart:
|Level of Decibels (dB)||Time of Exposure when damage occurs|
|85-90 dB||8 hours|
|91-96 dB||2 hours|
|97-102 dB||30 minutes|
|Over 103 dB||7 minutes|
Consider the chart above, and think about the noise level from an ordinary lawn mower – it ranged from 90 to 105 decibels! Now look at the amount of time that is needed for hearing loss to begin when exposed to that level of noise – way less than half an hour. Now think about the amount of time it takes to just mow an average sized law, and for most lawns that amount of time is over half an hour.
Now add the time spent using the weed eater that produces about 96dB – after 38 minutes, this piece of lawn equipment can cause hearing damage. Add to that a hedge trimmer – that produces about 103dB, and exposure just under eight minutes causes hearing damage. Once all the mowing, weed eating, hedge trimming, and edging is done, then the blower is typically used and those produce 99dB of noise, and damages the hearing after 19 minutes.
Most of the lawn equipment provides extremely loud volumes of noise. It’s not just the volume that causes hearing loss, but also the duration – the length of time the person is exposed to the noise. The longer the exposure, the more damaging it is to hearing. Constant exposure to noises above 85dB causes hearing loss over a period of time, and the louder the noise, the faster the hearing is lost if the ears are not protected.
Ear drums can be ruptured at 150dB, and when multiple pieces of lawn equipment by several workers at the same time, this volume can reach up to dangerous levels that cause hearing damage; therefore, it’s critical that earplugs be used to reduce the volume of noise and minimize the hearing loss.
Picking the Best Noise Reduction Hearing Protectors
When exposure to a consistently loud environment, such as those providing the lawn service, it’s important to have earplugs that meet these requirements:
- Fit comfortably in the ear
- Easy to get in and out of the ear
- Can easily withstand high temperatures in the summertime
- Specifically made for lawn care workers
Be aware, most noise protection devices reduce the noise level by an average of 30dB. However, when these hearing protectors are worn continuously for the duration of time exposed to the noise, the risk of hearing loss is greatly reduced when there is a good seal between the ear and the protection device.
For lawn care professions who risk losing their hearing because of exposure to loud mowers, hedge trimmers, weed eaters, and edgers, using noise reduction ear muffs are highly recommend to prevent or reduce hearing loss. With the extreme sounds that the lawn equipment produces, hearing loss can occur within 30 minutes of using the equipment. Even completely mowing one yard can be detrimental to hearing and cause permanent hearing loss.
There are a variety of headsets which are available which are some of the best headphones for mowing, and several models which provide the best Bluetooth headphones for mowing as well. It makes the task much easier when the mowing is done while listening to some great music on the MP3 player or to the ball game on the local radio station.
Regardless of which style or make of hearing protection, it’s critical to maintain good hearing and protect from hearing loss by using one of these best hearing protection for lawn mowing.