Each year, thousands of people experience hearing loss from loud noises. The excessive noise that is created during shooting may cause hearing loss eventually. In certain cases, this could be prevented with a few simple hearing protections like using shooting ear plugs. If you are a regular shooter, you should pay proper and adequate attention to your ear protection.
When you consult an audiologist, he will guide you in choosing the best hearing aid to help you in restoring your hearing. Also, you should remember that prevention is better than cure. The noise levels are generally measured in decibels (dB). So, the higher the decibel, the noise is louder. When the sound exceeds 85dB, this becomes dangerous to your sense of hearing.
The noises of everyday life are usually measured in the following ways:
- Normal conversation is of 60 dB
- Whispering is of 30 dB
- Busy traffic sound is of 70-85 dB
- Motorbike sound is 90 dB
- Music listened through headphones on a full volume is 100-110 dB
- When a plane takes off, a sound of 120 dB is created
- The fire alarm sound is 140 dB
Why should the shooters necessarily wear ear protection?
One of the very first items that are required for firearm safety is wearing ear protection when in the process of shooting. The reason behind the same is that the more one individual is subjected to some loud noises, the higher would be the risk of damaging his hearing capacity. Continuous exposure to loud shooting sounds can also lead to hearing loss. Regular shooters usually fall into high-risk groups.
What are the various types of ear protection that are available while shooting?
When this comes to ear protection while shooting, the following major types of protection are being used:
- Shooting earplugs: This is indeed the most cost-effective option available. So, if you are operating on a tight budget, this is the choice you should look for. The single use shooting earplugs are usually the cheapest option. They are usually prepared out of foam and fit into the ear perfectly. They are usually thrown away after they have been used once. This makes them the most environmentally friendly option for shooters.
- Earmuffs: The earmuffs are the ones that are being used for blocking the sound while shooting. These are usually used with shooting earplugs for extra protection. They are usually a little more expensive than earplugs and are designed so that they can be used well repeatedly.
- Electronic hearing protection: This option is usually very expensive. If you are a very serious and regular shooter, this can prove to be one of the best choices for protecting your ears during shooting. These usually use electronics to let a safe amount of sound through the ears. They even work in amplifying these sounds. However, the noises above a certain level are usually blocked from entering the canals of the ears. These are specifically useful for the shooters as they usually allow the persons to hear the conversations while protecting their ears from the tremendous sounds of the gunshots.
What kind of hearing protection do you ideally require?
Three very significant factors are usually considered that can affect hearing loss: time, decibel value and distance. When it comes to distance, the farther away you are from the point of action or muzzle, the lower the sound. Also, concerning time, gun blasts do not cause a lot of sounds. Some of the shooters usually fire several rounds of shots in fast succession. When this comes to hearing protection, this is crucial to focus on the level of the initial blast sound.
NRR or Noise Reduction Rating is a standard measurement unit used to assess the overall efficacy of safety devices for hearing, like shooting ear plugs.
You can choose the option of shooting earplugs that suits your usability and budget. You can choose shooting ear plugs for single use if you are not a frequent shooter. However, you can look for more expensive options if you are a regular and professional shooter. Regular shooters should never miss out on owning the best shooting ear plugs as they are exposed to the loud sound of shooting almost every day, and thus their hearing capacity is more susceptible to damage.
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