Any sound over 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent damage to your hearing system with enough exposure. For reference, that is about the volume of passing highway traffic or a busy café. A single gunshot can clock in at 140 to 190 dB – loud enough to cause immediate damage. This is why hunters should take precautions to protect their hearing when out scouting or hunting in Spirit Creek Forest.
What the Research Shows
One study conducted by the University of Wisconsin found that men aged 48 to 92 who regularly hunted were more likely to experience high-frequency hearing loss. Researchers found that the risk increased by 7% for every five years the men had been hunting.
Even more alarming, of the 3,753 study participants, 38% of target shooters and 95% of hunters reported never wearing hearing protection in the previous year.
How to Hunt without Harming Your Hearing
Follow our tips below to protect your hearing while hunting.
Invest in Hunter’s Earplugs
Any earplugs or earmuffs are going to provide some level of protection against the shot of a firearm, so it’s important to wear them. However, hunter’s earplugs are specially designed to protect your ears from the volume output of a gunshot and are the best option when it comes to protecting your hearing while hunting. Not only do they block dangerously loud sounds, but they let safe sounds through clearly, so your senses can stay sharp and you can communicate with your hunting buddy with ease.
Keep Them In
No matter what type of hearing protection you’re wearing, it’s important to wear it at all times, not just when you’re getting ready to shoot. This is because there are other hunters around you, and you don’t know when someone near you is going to fire.
Use a Silencer
Check the laws where you’re going hunting to see if using a silencer is legal. If so, consider using one in order to provide you and your partner’s ears some relief. Silencers work by stabilizing the loud propellant gases that firearms produce when fired. You should still wear hearing protection even if you’re using a silencer.
For more information about hearing protection or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Augusta - Aiken ENT & Allergy today.