Posted: Sat 27th May 2023

Over 4 Million UK gardeners at risk of hearing damage, warns Tinnitus UK

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, May 27th, 2023

As gardening season kicks into full swing, Tinnitus UK has issued a cautionary appeal to gardeners across the UK.

The charity warns that over four million gardeners are potentially putting their hearing at risk by failing to use adequate protection when mowing lawns, trimming hedges, or using power tools.

Data shows that only 26% of gardeners “regularly” or “sometimes” protect their ears during such tasks.

Tinnitus, a condition causing the perception of noise in the absence of external sound, affects one in seven adults in the UK.

With no current cure, the prevention of tinnitus and other hearing damage is of crucial importance.

Hearing health can be at risk from noise levels of 80dB and above.

Many common gardening tools produce sounds that exceed this level: petrol lawn mowers can reach up to 95dB, ride-on models can be even louder, pressure washers reach up to 94dB, and hedge trimmers can emit sounds as high as 103dB.

At these levels, irreversible hearing damage can occur in under 8 minutes.

Caroline Savage, CEO of Tinnitus UK, stated: “Noise exposure is the single biggest preventable cause of tinnitus, and our research indicates that people are unaware of the risks.”

“Our message is clear: use hearing protection when it’s loud.”

Highlighting the importance of hearing protection, she added: “We want people to enjoy their garden, the bird song and natural sounds in their outdoor space.”

“Gardening is beneficial for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, and we’d hate for people to put that at risk.”

“We want protecting your ears to be as second nature as protecting your cherished plants from frost and slugs.”

For those seeking more information on noise exposure and hearing protection, Tinnitus UK provides resources and support through their website and team of trained advisers.

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