MANHATTAN, Kan. – Research indicates that farmers experience greater hearing loss than do people in other occupations.
In fact, a recent screening of more than 300 New York farmers found 77 percent with hearing loss, according to the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.
May not even know. Noise-induced hearing loss starts silently. By the time a farmer or those around him or her, notice a hearing impairment, the damage may be permanent, said John Slocombe, farm safety specialist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.
Hearing loss is caused by both volume and the length exposure to loud noises. On the farm, exposure to engine noise, loud animals or power tool motors can damage hearing in about two hours unless some type of hearing protection is used.
Protect yourself. Hearing protection decreases the intensity of sound that reaches the ear drum. Slocombe offered these tips for saving farmers’ hearing:
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