No one would decide to lose their hearing deliberately, so it makes sense to understand the dangers of hearing loss when exposed to certain situations.
For sport shooters and hunters on all levels, hearing loss is a real danger for those who shoot firearms on a consistent basis. The risk of hearing loss is all too real, but hearing protection is just as real and the completely logical step to take to prevent it. Hearing is very important in life, we communicate through hearing, and enjoy music and many other things through sounds.
To protect yourself from hearing loss is not something one should take lightly. In fact, if you are a sportsman or woman, you should take measures to guard against it at all costs. It does not have to be that difficult, you can get yourself some hearing protection gear either inexpensively or even splurge on exceptionally stylish and high-end gear if the urge strikes.
Don’t leave your hearing out in the cold, take a look at what you can do to protect yourself today below:
Hearing Protection for Shooters and Hunters
With the prospect of hearing loss as a result of continuous exposure to the sound of firearms, the wise sportsman or woman will take precautions to guard against this.
There are a number of devices that protect the hearing when shooters use their weapons. These devices include sound muffling earplugs and earmuffs, or headsets that cancel sound input. For those who use guns, the sound reduction should have a rating of 21 db to 30 db or higher in order to be considered effective. The higher the rating, the more effective they will be.
Let’s examine the characteristics of the two main types of hearing protection, the earplug and the earmuffs, and compare their features to see which one would be best for your needs.
1. Ear Plugs
These devices fit snugly in the hole of your ears and are placed in ears by using fingers to twist and then insert them. Usually, these ear plugs are sufficient to protect the wearer from excessive noise, but they can be used with earmuffs to create additional safety.
There are also many colorful varieties available with various levels of elasticity and comfort. There are many different models of ear plugs, so let’s take a closer look at some of the features here:
- Nitro multi-colored
- Foam construction
- Carrying case included with some models
- Triple flanges on some models
- Metal detectable models available
- Inner-aural hearing band with headset
- Huge sets of 500+ disposable earplugs available
2. Ear muffs
These are built like headphones, except they do not bring any noise or sound to your ear, they prevent noise from reaching the ear. There are many different types of earmuffs that offer a wide range of strengths and capabilities, as well as a great number of other features.
In many models you can hear the sounds around you, but only the noise is blocked out, with a feature known as noise cancelling. Many different materials are used to provide the wearer with comfort, including foam, rubber, and cloth.
Some models are made for kids, others for hunters, sport shooters, and professionals and come in many different colors and styles. Made of many different types of materials, here is a list of some of the common features found in these earmuffs:
- Natural sound with omni-directional headphones while providing noise canceling
- Individually adjustable in some models
- Sound activation compression with a reaction time of 0.02 seconds
- Compact low-profile designs available
- Hook and loop patches available
- Durable construction with rugged materials
- Suitable for competition use
- Can be combined with ear plugs for added layer of protection
- Fully adjustable metal headbands
- Contoured cups and padded ear pads for comfort
- Noise blocking for improved concentration
What to Know About Ear Protection
If you are serious about hearing protection, make it a point to understand the differences in models and levels of protection offered by both the ear plugs and in the different earmuff models. They are not built the same at all and vary widely by make and model.
If you choose ear plugs, make sure they fit properly and will not fall out when using them. Make sure to get the size of ear muffs that fits your head properly if you choose this option. Don’t use ill-fitting ear muffs, as this will defeat the purpose of hearing protection, if they don’t cover your ears snugly and completely.
No matter which option you choose, choose hearing protection that has the level of protection you need before you get out on the range. Sound levels that spike from firearms can be loud enough from a single shot to cause hearing loss, so this is a concern you need to be vigilant about.