Did you know that the average sound level of a gunshot is between 140 to 190 decibels? That’s loud enough for your hearing to be damaged instantaneously if you practice target shooting or even recreational shooting without ear protection. In fact, some say that the amount of noise you experience if you spend a few minutes in a shooting range is equivalent to a year’s worth of noise. Do the math, and you’ll see that exposure to gunshot noise is not and will never be healthy for your ears.
According to research, roughly 40% of recreational gun users don’t wear protection of any sort when firing shots. That goes to show how much these gun users are unknowingly putting themselves at risk by exposing themselves to loud gun blasts without protection. The hard thing about the damage to your ear is that it’s barely noticeable at first. The deterioration only becomes noticeable as days pass, more so when you expose yourself in a noisy environment. That’s when you’ll start noticing the difference from how you managed to hear audible sounds yesterday to how you’re hearing them at present.
In addition, the gradual hearing loss will only be alarming once you start asking people to repeat what they said all the time or when your television’s volume is set at full but the sound registers to your ears at a normal level.
No matter if you’re a target shooter, a recreational hunter, or someone who spends a lot of time in a shooting range, it’s best to include ear protection among the list of things you need to bring with you. You can be garbed in the best protective gear for shooting, but if you damage your ear from the sound of gunshot, then it will not be much fun at all.
Your ears are very delicate, which is why it is highly recommended that you equip yourself with ear protection at all times while you’re exposed to the sound of gunshot. The sound of gunshots, no matter if these are at its minimum level of 140, can still cause hearing loss or tinnitus (continuous ringing in the ears that is usually a sign of ear injury). Hence, it’s important to keep yourself protected. There are websites that list the best types of ear protection for shooting ranges, so you may want to check those out for guidance when you’re purchasing ear protection such as ear plugs and whatnot.
If you’re a recreational shooter, or if you shoot for game during hunting, a non-linear ear plug will probably work best for you. Of course, you may opt to go for an electronic ear plug that allows you to still hear what’s going on around you while blocking louder sounds that can damage your ears.
Remember, hearing loss is irreversible. You can even suffer from acoustic trauma, an injury to the inner ear due to exposure to high-decibel noises. Hence, while there’s still time, do what you can to protect your ears from noise-induced hearing loss.