Healthy hearing in the garden - Blog | Keyton

Healthy hearing in the garden

Monday, 21 October 2019

Enjoy the sights and sounds of your garden by looking after your hearing with these tips from Value Hearing’s Christo Fourie. Written by Christo Fourie, Clinical Audiologist at Value Hearing.

The garden is a complete engagement of the senses. The sight of new growth, the feel of freshly cut grass under your feet, the smell of new flowers in bloom, the taste of fresh herbs and vegetables and savouring the sounds of the new season. 

Sound helps your garden thrive

It turns out the sounds of the garden pleases more than just us gardeners. The plants love it too! Did you know a colony of bees will buzz at around 50dB if it has a queen and rises to up to 80dB (which is as loud as an alarm clock) if there’s no queen? 

The sound of buzzing bees is a delight to listen to, and scientists discovered the sound serves another important purpose. Plants actually listen out for it! Researchers from Tel-Aviv University discovered that plants produce sweeter nectar on hearing the sound of buzzing bees. So, not only is the sound therapeutic for you, it's going to help your gardens thrive. 

Keeping your hearing healthy will help you enjoy the garden, too

However, if your hearing isn’t up to par, you'll be missing out on the sounds of small birds tweeting, of bees buzzing, or of a sizzling barbecue. One of our clients complained to his wife that crows had chased away all the native birds from his garden. His wife told him that the birds were still there, only he couldn't hear them!  While a full-throated warble from a bird bursting into song is easily heard, sweet little trills can be as soft as 15dB. This means if you have mild hearing loss, the quietest sound you’ll be able to hear is between 25-40dB, which is a whispered conversation or the sound of your computer fan humming. 

Top tips to look after your ears and your hearing aids when gardening

Spring is the perfect time to get your hands dirty and spruce up your garden, so we've listed our top tips to ensure you enjoy healthy hearing in the garden: 

  1. If you're using power tools, remove your hearing aids and use hearing protection. 

  2. If you drop your hearing aids in the garden, clean them thoroughly, as soil and dust can block the tiny microphones. 

  3. To clean your hearing aid, wipe it with a microfibre cloth and use the cleaning brush in your kit to remove debris around the microphone and receiver, remembering many hearing aids have 2 microphones. 

  4. Use a drying or a dehumidifying kit after watering the garden because moisture and electronics don’t mix. 

  5. If your hearing aids do get wet, take the batteries out straight away and leave the battery doors open. Batteries are quick to corrode, and that’s the main cause of damage to hearing aids. Use a cotton swab to ensure the contacts in the hearing aids are dry. 

  6. Don’t put your hearing aids on a heater, in the microwave, in the oven or use a hairdryer on a heat setting. You could do irreparable damage to your hearing aids. Use the dehumidifier which you may have received with your hearing aids. 

  7. If you don't have a dehumidifier or a desiccant, try placing your hearing aids in a resealable bowl of uncooked rice. Leave them in there for 24 hours, then test them. 

Dos and don’ts when your hearing aid gets wet

  • Don't panic. 

  • Do act quickly. 

  • Don't leave your batteries in. 

  • Do rinse your hearing aids in clean water if they were dropped in soapy or salty water. 

  • Don't use heat. 

  • Do use a desiccant or your hearing aid's dehumidifier or dryer unit to dry your aids. 

Visit Value Hearing for more advice on what to do if your hearing aids get wet.

Christo Fourie, Clinical Audiologist at Value Hearing, stands in a garden, looking at the camera, with the sun shining behind her.Christo Fourie, Clinical Audiologist at Value Hearing

Value Hearing is an independent, Australian-owned hearing specialist. Our qualified and registered clinicians expertly guide you to your best hearing solution. Value Hearing has clinics in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Learn more about Value Hearing

For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.

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