With Deaf Awareness Week upon us, it’s as good a time as any to discuss the importance of protecting your hearing, especially while shooting. You only have one pair of ear drums and once they are damaged, you lose a range of hearing perception for life. This is why protecting your hearing at all cost is of utmost importance.
Even when shooting a small caliber rifle such as a .22 you could incur permanent hear loss. This is why the more than 50 million American shooters are at risk for developing some degree of noise-induced hearing loss if they weren’t to equip themselves with adequate ear protection.
The world’s most common and preventable disability, the option for protection your hearing when shooting is a simple measure you can take to maintain your ability to hear. Every time you shoot a gun without proper hearing protection you are assaulting your ears with up to 150 decibels (dB) of deafening sound. A 120 dB single gun blast can instantly destroy your ability to hear.
When you initially experience acoustic trauma from a gunshot, the indications are obvious. Even if you manage to escape a situation without damaging your ear drum, there are positive symptoms of sensorineural damage to your hearing when shooting. They include feelings of dizziness and lacking balance.
As much as we know about the dangers of shooting without hearing protection, many hunters still shy away from hearing protection. This is in great part because traditional limit their perception of the world around them. Not being able to hear rustling leaves or breaking sticks takes away from being able to effectively hunt. But thanks to technological advances, antiquated designs inhibiting your hearing to protect it are no longer your only option.
Ear plug protection technology available today can not only protect your hearing, but actually enhance it as well. In this regard it doesn’t detract from your ability to focus more on the shot in front of you. With numerous settings allowing you to select the degree you want to pick up on background noise versus drown out loud foreground noise, the most advanced hearing protection actually employs a omnidirectional microphone. This microphone allows you to pick up, auto-calibrate and place noises all around you as far away as 300 yards.
Co-ordinated by the UK Council on Deafness, Deaf Awareness Week 2015 this year is focused on raising awareness to ‘Connect and Communicate.’ This theme encourages those recognizing Deaf Awareness Week to establishing meaningful connections and engaging in effective communication with those experiencing hearing loss.
The goal of the UK Council on Deafness is also to promote social inclusion of the deaf. The ‘Connect and Communicate’ theme is incorporated with information days, exhibitions, talks and captioned theatrical performances and is supported by more than one hundred charities and organizations.
Every time you shoot a gun without proper hearing protection you are assaulting your ears. The world’s most common and preventable disability, shooters today have all the resources they need to avoid hearing loss. And the dangers apply to shooters firing every firearm from the loudest shotguns to the smallest caliber target pistols.