PREPARING YOUR GARDEN FOR SUMMER MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO YOUR HEARING
As Victoria Day weekend nears, Connect Hearing warns of health risks from exposure to extreme noise
Victoria, B.C. (May 8, 2012) — Yard and garden work is inevitable with the arrival of spring, but working with noisy gardening tools can be more than just an annoyance.
“Regular yard activities such as mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, cutting trees and leaf blowing expose us to potentially damaging noise levels,” says MJ DeSousa, Director of Professional Practice at Connect Hearing, Canada’s largest network of hearing clinics.
“With more than one million people in Canada reporting hearing loss, it’s important to understand that once our hearing has been affected, the damage is permanent and irreversible. This is particularly important to remember in May, when the Victoria Day long weekend marks the time when thousands of Canadians work on lawn care and spring clean-up.”
DeSousa says 95 per cent of hearing loss in adults is sensorineural in nature (nerve damage), which is caused by noise exposure, aging and other factors. Everyday sounds such as loud music, gardening tools, fireworks and work environments can often affect hearing loss over time.
Most lawnmowers have a noise level ranging between 90 to 92 decibels, an intensity that is only safe for a period of up to two hours. Power saws produce a noise level as high as 110 decibels, equivalent to that of an accelerating motorcycle.
“As most of us in Canada would not spend more than two hours mowing our lawns, we assume that our hearing is safe,” says DeSousa, “but when you add the other noise-inducing activities that a regular day of yard work would include, we are very likely to be exposing ourselves to an unsafe level.”
Research states that the maximum “safe level” of noise is 85 decibels, similar to that of busy city traffic. Exposure to levels greater than this can contribute to hearing damage. With the majority of gardening tools producing noise greater than the safe level, how can we continue with the spring cleaning of our gardens without damaging our hearing?
“Wear hearing protection,” DeSousa advises. “Earplugs and earmuffs are cheap and easy to use and reduce noise levels by 15 to 30 decibels. Wearing both at the same time provides even more protection.”
A visit to a Registered Audiologist or hearing-health professional can also help. Connect Hearing professionals will evaluate the condition of your hearing and provide solutions that reduce the effects of hearing loss for you and your family.
For more information on sound levels and human response visit, http://www.canadianhearingsociety.com.
About Connect Hearing
With 120 clinics across Canada, Connect Hearing is Canada’s largest network of hearing professionals. Community involvement, including the provision of free hearing tests, is at the core of Connect Hearing’s practices, which allow people to stay connected in their lives and confident in their conversations. Since 2010, Connect Hearing has annually been named one of “The Best Workplaces in Canada” in a survey of employees from companies around the nation.
Deb Morse, Elevation PR