Hunting is one of America’s favorite past times. There’s nothing like waking up on a crisp, cool morning, packing up the car and spending the day with your friends or family. But before you pull the trigger to shoot, you should make sure you’re wearing ear protection. You may be rolling your eyes, but we’re about to fill you in on why your gun could be the main cause of your hearing loss and explain just how serious this issue actually is.
Exactly How Loud is a Gunshot?
One single gunshot ranges from around 140 decibels to 190 decibels. This number is important because anything above 85 decibels is extremely likely to cause hearing loss. Even if it’s only one, short shot, it’s enough to cause permanent and immediate hearing damage.
What’s Happening Inside Your Ear
Inside your ear, you have tons of tiny hair cells which send information straight to your brain. These sensitive little hairs can’t deal with loud noises, so when they are exposed to loud sounds they get damaged. Once the hairs are damaged, they do not regenerate like other hair on our body. Each hair that is damaged results in irreversible hearing loss.
When your ear is exposed to loud noises, some people will notice muffled hearing or ringing in their ears which is called tinnitus. But others won’t notice anything until it’s far too late. “Shooter’s ear” is a common term used to describe a hunter who has suffered hearing loss from gunshots.
Hunters and Ear Protection
Did you know that as many as 95% of hunters don’t wear any form of hearing protection? One of the main reasons hunter’s give is that ear protection hides the noises of shuffling leaves from a deer hiding or birds’ wings overhead. Another reason is that it gets in the way while shooting. But, there is a solution!
Active hearing protection is a great alternative specifically for hunter’s needs. Rather than wearing traditional earmuffs and/or earplugs which can muffle every sound around you, active protection will only mask gunshots, not the voices of other hunters or any nearby animals. So hunters will actually hear enhanced sounds under 85 decibels (rustling leaves) while cutting out unwanted sounds (gunshot) over 85 decibels. It’s the best of both worlds.
Get Your Hearing Tested!
Whether you’ve been experiencing hearing problems or simply want to give your ears a check-up, contact Selective Hearing today for a professional hearing test in Crowley. We will help you find the best solution or prevention for your hearing! Contact us today for more information.
An Abbeville, Louisiana native, Dr. Thom realized her love for speech, language, and hearing while taking a speech pathology class her junior year at LSU. After completing a bachelor of arts in communications disorders, that love persisted, and Dr. Thom graduated in 2011 with a clinical doctorate in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Thom continues to make sounds and language more accessible to her patients and likes to learn about their unique hearing and communication needs. An active member of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, she has been serving as a board member for two years, and was the 2016-17 President of LAA.