Are farmers more likely to develop hearing problems? Well, despite the perception that farms are tranquil, idyllic work environments, recent research has indicated that farmers are at a high risk of developing hearing issues.
In fact, half of Americans who have hearing loss live in rural areas. Exposure to noise is thought to be the prime cause of hearing problems among farmers.
Exposure to Loud Noise in a Farm Environment
Most farmers are exposed to noise levels above the 85-decibel threshold from an early age because they grow up on a farm. What’s more, they spend their entire time there and not just the normal 40-hour working week.
Noise sources vary but equipment and animal noises come in at damaging noise levels. Hence, it’s nearly inevitable that many farmers develop hearing loss at an early stage in their life.
Sources of noise like chainsaws, grain dryers, tractors, drills, grass cutters, and many other items of farm equipment produce noise levels far above what is considered healthy. Besides, a herd of squealing pigs can produce as much as 100 decibels.
So, because farmers spend so many hours working on the farm, frequently exposed to unhealthy noise levels, they are at a greater risk of developing hearing loss. The answer to the question, are farmers more likely to develop hearing problems is, therefore, a resounding yes.
How to Protect Farmers against Hearing Loss
Two things are essential when it comes to protecting farmers against hearing loss. To begin with, education is key so that farmers become aware of the risks and learn how to reduce them. Secondly, wearing hearing protection on the farm ought to become second nature to all farmers.
Once farmers grasp the seriousness of the risks and take suitable precautions, hearing loss will become less prevalent among them.
Having answered the question are farmers more likely to develop hearing problems, we would advise any farmer to wear ear protection whenever exposed to loud noise.