Source: Leader-Telegram Author Elizabeth Dohms

    • - Dudley Smith, a conservationist farmer near Augusta, suffers with some hearing loss that he attributes to operating loud machinery, in addition to driving cabless tractors and being exposed to screeching pigs when he was younger.

As rings were driven into the noses of pigs — a method to prevent them from digging with their snouts— their screeches pierced the ears of a young Dudley Smith.
Now, the 72-year-old Augusta area farmer who still tills the same land jokes that the pigs are to blame for his hearing loss.
All joking aside, their culpability shouldn’t be easily dismissed.
According to data from the National Ag Safety Database, the sound of squealing pigs rings in at about 130 decibels. Maximum safe levels for humans is 85 decibels, the sound of a lawnmower, over an eight-hour period. Normal conversation is about 60 decibels.
Oftentimes exposed to sound well over 85 decibels, farmers are especially susceptible to hearing loss — a point driven home by a UW-Madison audiology team that handed out earplugs at the Budweiser Dairyland Super National Truck and Tractor Pull in Tomah last weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Hearing study
But depending on people to minimize their own hearing loss might not be the solution, said research scientist Barbara Marlenga with the National Farm Medicine Center, part of the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.

Read More here: