The need for hearing protection when firing a weapon of any kind cannot be stressed enough. If you are planning on firing a gun of any kind, regardless of caliber, hearing protection should always be worn. You can cause temporary or permanent hearing damage if you don’t wear the proper protection. If you have fired a weapon without the right protection and think that you may have caused damage to your hearing, look out for these symptoms.
- EAR PAIN – This is probably the most obvious symptom of hearing damage, and even mild ear pain can be a strong indication that something is wrong. This has often been described as something pressing against your inner ear, or like a needle was poked directly into the ear drum. While the effects aren’t always long term, if the noise causing the pain was loud enough then there could be serious damage done.
- TINNITUS – This is a ringing sensation in your hearing that can start out loud and gradually decrease. However, the effect does not always leave completely. It presents as a sharp tone, like a tuning fork held directly against the ear, and can be very distracting. Often this can present sixteen to forty-eight hours later as well.
- LOSS OF HEARING – A decrease in your overall ability to hear is a prime example of ear damage. If you stop being able to hear certain tones, types of voices, or specific sounds then you may have experienced a loss of hearing. This can subside, but can just as easily continue to worsen over time.
If you have fired a weapon without proper hearing protection and you find yourself suffering from any or all of these symptoms then you need to consult a doctor immediately. You should seek treatment before the symptoms begin to subside as well.
Additionally, if you are an avid shooter, remember to never leave your home to go shooting without protection for your ears. Having protection will allow you to avoid suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms.