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Are You Protecting Your Hearing

Published December 12, 2012 - By John O'Connor

Since hunting season is underway, hunters are searching for the latest hunting equipment that they can add to their arsenal.  Some of these hunters are looking for new muzzles while others are looking for new scent repellent.  However, when looking for all of these new pieces of hunting equipment, most hunters forget to look for one piece of hunting equipment.  This piece of equipment may be one of the most important and that is your hearing protection.  Many hunters do not realize the importance of wearing hearing protection while out on a hunt; because of this they are more likely to be damaging their ears every time they shoot a gun.  My father who was a hunter for many years often did not pay much attention to his hearing protection.  Now many years later he is paying the price for it.  Due partially to hunting, he now is affected severely by hearing loss.  In order to hear better he wears hearing aids that help amplify sounds around him.  Following some of the tips below can help ensure that you have healthy hearing, as you get older.

Are Firearms Dangerous?

In addition to the obvious physical danger that firearms pose, firearms are also dangerous to a personís hearing.  When a person chooses to not wear hearing protection, he or she is exposing his or her hearing to sounds that the hearing is not capable of handling.  Hunters may not realize that their ears should not be exposed to sounds over 85 decibels for long periods of time, while a shotgun and produce sounds upwards of 140 dB.  When a hunter shoots his or her rifle or shotgun, the muzzle is right next to his or her ears.  People who are hunting with the shooter may also have their hearing damaged if they are not wearing hearing protection.

How To Protect the Hearing

The best way for a hunter to protect his or her hearing is to wear one of the following types of hearing protection devices: earmuffs or earplugs.  Each of these devices will aid in protecting the hunterís hearing, but the earmuffs will work the best.

Earplugs are small hearing protection devices that are inserted into the ear.  There are many types of earplugs, and they are also very inexpensive to purchase.  Earmuffs, on the other hand, are worn over the ears.  There are regular earmuffs and electronic earmuffs.  Electronic earmuffs are the best because they also allow the hunter to hear other sounds that are important to hear while he or she is hunting.  Both regular earmuffs and electronic earmuffs can be worn with earplugs, thus adding more hearing protection.

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss.  My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss.  I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can.  Check out my new blog at!

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