People don’t often realise how few decibels it can take to affect your hearing permanently. In fact even something as innocent as a hair dryer could cause hearing loss if you are exposed to the sound up close. Knowing this, it starts to put hearing loss into perspective really and makes you realise just how vulnerable your ears are even at home.
Let’s talk about a few household chores that we wouldn’t normally use hearing protection for. It is a good idea to try some form of hearing protection especially if you are worried about hearing loss or already have a loss. Keep in mind our normal conversation level is 65 dB of sound.
Gardening: It may not seem like a very noisy household chore but you would be surprised at how loud a lawn mower or a leaf blower can be. It is about 90 dB of sound on average. If you are going to use a noisy garden appliance it is important to use some hearing protection and help save your ears from hearing loss.
Vacuuming: If you already use some sort of headphones to play music while you vacuum then you are probably safe (pending how loud that music is playing). But if you are not using any kind of hearing protection, you could be doing permanent damage. Vacuums are incredibly loud (85dB and more) and if you have a large home then it’s common to have the vacuum on for long periods of time.
Cooking: Did you know that the appliances like juicers (80-90 dB), blenders (88dB) and even coffee grinders (85-90dB) are loud enough to affect your hearing? While it might seem impractical to use hearing protection for cooking, it might be worth the investment, especially if you cook for the family on a regular basis.
Cleaning: We already mentioned the noisy vacuum cleaner but other appliances can also get very loud. For example a garbage disposal can typically reach sound levels of up to 95dB and some washing machines and tumble dryers can cause very loud noises if not maintained.
As you can see, even some of the most common household items can emit far more sound than we should be hearing so if you can use some form of hearing protection, you will be grateful in the long run.