The answer is yes and no. Here’s why:
It depends on the typical decibel level of your lawn mower, whether it has a grass catcher or not, and how close you set your throttle.
If you need hearing protection for mowing there are several reasons why individuals may choose to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hearing protection while mowing their lawns.
The noise levels of lawn equipment are variable, ranging from 85 to 115 decibels. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at 90 decibels or higher.
The louder the sound, the shorter the time it takes for someone to sustain permanent damage to their hearing. This is because every sound above 85 decibels damages the hair cells in the inner ear that transmit sounds to your brain.
Damage occurs when loud noises make these sensitive cells in your cochlea produce chemicals like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline).
If this chemical secretion becomes excessive, it can destroy nerve endings in the cochlea; once they die, they do not grow back.
How many noise decibels is a lawn mower?
Lawn mower noise can vary depending on the type of lawnmower, how close you are to the lawnmower, and whether it has a grass catcher.
Noise levels will typically fall between 85 to 115 decibels, so hearing protection is highly recommended for noise levels above 90 decibels.
How long does it take for a lawn mower to damage your ears?
The amount of time it takes to damage your ears depends on how close you are to the lawn mower and the sound level.
Typically, it would take a full hour of lawn mowing to reach the threshold of hearing damage for an 85-degree noise level.
What decibel level is considered too loud?
The time it takes to be affected by excessive noises also depends on the individual’s age and how long they have been exposed to those loud noises.
Studies show that if you are regularly exposed to sounds over 90 decibels, you will notice some negative effects after just 15 minutes.
One thing that can help reduce your chances of suffering from listening damage due to lawn equipment is simply lowering the engine speed when you are around 1 meter away from the machine.
How do I protect my ears when mowing?
Always wearing hearing protection while mowing the lawn is a good idea. You can find a variety of ear plugs or muffs that fit comfortably and ensure that you protect your ears from noise damage.
What devices are available to protect my hearing?
Muff-style hearing protection, which fits over the head to cover both ears, offers superior sound-blocking capability compared to earplugs.
The muff-style design effectively seals out low-frequency sounds better than high-frequency sounds. In general, workers should select a device with a higher NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) –
This means it will be more effective at reducing the volume of sound reaching your ear – although other factors such as comfort may also be important considerations.
Is it okay to mow without hearing protection?
While you’re at risk of noise-induced hearing loss when operating a lawn mower, other factors can increase that risk. If your lawnmower engine is poorly tuned or near capacity, it will be much louder than usual, creating more noise pollution.
If your throttle is set too high (higher speeds require extra torque), this will also increase the volume of the noise coming from the lawn mower.
Using a grass catcher – which traps grass under its steel mesh – can also fling debris into your face and ears; this debris may include rocks and twigs that may damage your hearing if struck by them directly.
Finally, if you’re not wearing eye protection and earplugs or earmuffs, flying debris can cause eye injuries and make it much more difficult to see the lawnmower in front of you.
Are noise Cancelling headphones good for lawn mowing?
Noise-cancelling headphones cancel out most of the noise around you. However, lawnmowers are powerful machines with gas-powered engines that emit high decibel levels.
Using noise-cancelling headphones while operating a lawn mower will lead to injuries such as hearing loss or even worse because lawnmowers cannot stop themselves when they get too close to people and objects in their way.
Is it safe to wear Airpods while mowing?
No, Airpods are not meant to be used in high-impact situations. Since they cover your ears, leaving only the small earbud piece in your ear, it doesn’t protect you from all sound.
Lawnmowers can hit decibel levels of 100+, which will damage your hearing if you’re exposed to them for too long without adequate protection.
What types of hearing protection are there?
Types of Hearing Protection – There are two main types: earplugs and earmuffs. Ear plugs fit into your outer ear canal and form a seal to block out sound better than earmuffs.
While both devices have an NRR rating, which measures how much noise the device reduces, earmuffs are generally rated higher because they fit over both ears and work for more frequencies.
You can increase their effectiveness further by doubling up with earplugs.
If your lawn mower is particularly loud and creating dangerous noise levels, take a break until you can fix it. Also, wearing proper protection while mowing should ensure your ears stay safe and sound during this activity.