An expert says Iowans who mow their own lawns every week might be putting their hearing at risk unless they wear ear protection. Doctor Marlan Hansen, an otology professor at the University of Iowa, says many people who are routinely around loud noises ignore the potential hearing risk. People at home using power tools, hunters and farmers are the people Dr. Hansen says he tends to see in the clinic most frequently for noise-induced hearing losses. You wouldn’t be surprised to see a jack-hammer operator with big headphone-style hearing protectors on, but Hansen says people who do everyday tasks, like lawn mowing, usually don’t bother. You might think it’ll only be for a few minutes and won’t hurt but over time, he says, that noise can take a serious toll on your ability to hear. Hansen says there are a few warning signs that might tip people off that their hearing is being hurt. An early symptom may be having trouble understanding what people are saying, ringing in the ears or a sense of fullness or stuffiness in the ears. He says people who may think they have a hearing problem are likely due for a check-up from a professional.
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