Do you like to hunt, or perhaps target-shoot? Did you know you may be causing permanent damage with each shot? It’s true, according to a University of Wisconsin study, gunshots are associated with permanent high-frequency loss. Interestingly, over the year preceding the study, 38% of the target-shooters said they never wore hearing protection, and 95% of the hunters. Since a single gun shot exceeds 140 decibels, it’s not surprising that it can cause permanent hearing loss and ringing.
Does that mean you should give up hunting and shooting? Not at all. There are a few things you can do. One of them is to equip your gun with a sound suppressor, if appropriate for the state in which you live. That would reduce sound impact regardless of where you shoot – inside a range or in the field.
A second thing is to equip yourself with standard hearing protection in the form of ear plugs, custom ear plugs, or ear muffs. That can work fine when shooting at the range.
For hunters, it’s a bit more difficult, though, since you need to hear what’s going on around you all the time, and when it’s time to fire, the last thing you want to think about is stopping to insert ear plugs.
Fortunately, Starkey has developed their line of Sound Gear protective devices that address all these things. You can wear them all the time to both enhance your hearing when not firing the gun, and to protect it when you are. They use a very small battery, and will actually allow you to hear better than normal when the protection feature is not turned on. But when you need to pull the trigger, they will automatically block your hearing from anything exceeding 95 decibels. Pretty neat, huh? They come in a variety of options, from generic fitting plugs to custom fittings. To arrange a visit to your hearing care professional to decide what’s best for you, click here.