Are Gun Shots Destroying Your Hearing?

Sports that use firearms have never been more popular. But if you participate in shooting sports – or even watch them live – you need to take special precautions to protect your hearing. Do you know about hearing protection that lets you hear normally while filtering out gun blasts? They offer all the benefits of hearing protection without the drawbacks like muffled hearing.

Firearms Lead To Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is directly correlated to using firearms, and being close to firearms when they are discharged. The loud sounds of gun blasts can leave you with high frequency hearing loss, and because the left ear is closer to the muzzle of the firearm, it usually sustains more hearing damage than the right ear. But even if you’re not the one shooting – being near a firearm when it goes off is still too close without hearing protection.

All Guns Are Loud

Noise exposure over 140 decibels can permanently damage your hearing, but most people don’t realize that almost all firearms are louder than 140 decibels. A relatively small .22-caliber rifle will produce noise around the 140 decibel mark, while larger rifles and pistols can generate sounds around 175 decibels. If the gun is shot indoors where sound can reverberate, it will be even louder. This means that even one shot can cause permanent hearing damage if you’re not wearing hearing protection, even if you’re not the one firing the gun.

Hearing Protection For Shooters

Only half of shooters wear hearing protection each time they shoot target practice. Hunters wear hearing protection even less often because they worry about being able to hear game as it’s approaching. But there are ear muffs specifically designed to protect your ears from gunshot blasts while allowing you to hear the softer sounds you need for your sport, and even carry on normal conversations without removing your hearing protectors.

Get Your Hearing Tested Today

If you shoot a gun – once in a while, or often for your sport – get your hearing tested and protected today. Speak to an experienced audiologist about where your hearing is now, what your sport entails, and how to protect your hearing for life. Most reputable audiologists will be able to fit you for a pair of custom noise-filtering ear plugs designed specifically for shooters.