by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A man wrote
Because I have a lot of grass to mow I spend 2 to 4 hours per week on a riding mower. My question is how best to protect what is left of my hearing. I believe my best options are high quality ear muffs or noise canceling ear muffs.
I’m glad you are concerned about your remaining hearing because once it’s gone, it’s gone!
I would think that good ear muffs with a protection rating of about 30 dB would be more than adequate. All you are trying to do is bring the loud sounds down to 80 dB or so. With a 30 dB rating, you could be in noise as loud as 110 dB–and I doubt your riding mower is that loud.
My ear muffs work so well for me I can’t even hear my motor running. (I use a walk behind mower.)