The loud pop of gunfire is one of the most recognizable sounds on Earth. While it can be an exciting part of many activities, it also creates a major source of hearing loss for those who are unprotected.
Do you own a firearm for home defense, hunting, or competitions? No matter the purpose, one critical item must be included in your shooting gear: ear protection!
In this article, I’ll discuss why wearing ear protection when shooting is vital and provide recommendations for the best ear protection devices on the market to keep you safe.
Dangers of Shooting Without Hearing Protection
Shooting without hearing protection can be extremely dangerous and cause permanent hearing damage. When a gun is fired, the gunshot sound is incredibly loud and can cause immediate and long-term damage to your ears. A gunshot can reach up to 140 decibels, louder than a jet engine taking off. This level of noise can cause permanent hearing loss in just one shot.
Acoustic trauma is the most common type of hearing damage caused by shooting without ear protection. This is when the delicate structures of the inner ear are damaged due to exposure to loud noises. Acoustic trauma can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and balance issues.
In addition, shooting without ear protection can lead to physical pain and discomfort in the ears due to the loud noise. The sound of a gunshot can be painful and uncomfortable for unprotected people.
It is important to note that even if you wear ear protection, it is still possible to suffer hearing damage due to the loud noise of a gunshot. Therefore, it is important to wear ear protection rated for your firearm type and ensure that it fits properly.
Benefits of Wearing Hearing Protection for Shooting
- Protects Hearing: Wearing the best shooting ear protection can help protect your hearing from the loud sound of gunshots, which can cause permanent damage to your ears.
- Improves Accuracy: Wearing earplugs or earmuffs can also help improve accuracy by reducing distractions from background noise.
- Reduces Fatigue: Hearing protection can also help reduce fatigue caused by the loud sound of gunshots, allowing you to shoot for longer periods without feeling tired.
Types of Hearing Protection for Shooting
There are a variety of different types of hearing protection available for shooters. The most common type is earplugs, inserted into the ear canal and reduced the sound of gunshots by up to 30 decibels. Ear muffs are also popular and can reduce noise by up to 40 decibels. Both types of hearing protection should be worn when shooting to ensure maximum protection.
Earplugs are an essential piece of safety equipment for anyone who is shooting a gun. They can help protect your hearing from the loud noise of gunfire, which can cause permanent damage to your ears if you are not careful.
Earplugs also help reduce the risk of developing tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears and can be caused by exposure to loud noises.
If you prefer the feeling of in-ear rather than over-ear hearing protection, then earplugs are right for you. With today’s earplug technology, there is little difference in the protection levels available.
Ear muffs are another hearing protection used when shooting a gun. They are designed to fit over the ears and provide a higher level of protection than earplugs, reducing noise levels by up to 40 decibels. Ear muffs also help reduce fatigue caused by the loud sound of gunshots and can improve accuracy by reducing distractions from background noise.
Electronic earmuffs are also available, which feature directional microphones to electronically suppress harmful noises and amplify low-level sounds you should hear. This technology is also available in shooting earbuds.
Custom-molded earplugs are a great way to protect your hearing when shooting. They provide superior protection compared to standard foam earplugs because they are custom-made to fit the exact shape of your ears.
This ensures that the earplugs fit snugly and block out all sounds, including firearms-related noises. Custom-molded earplugs also provide a comfortable fit so that you can wear them for long periods without any discomfort.
Decibullz is one of the most well-known brands for custom-molded earplugs. They even have a model made especially for shooting, the Decibullz Percussive Filters, which feature a mechanical filter in the earplugs to block sounds over a certain volume.
In conclusion, shooters need to wear hearing protection to protect their hearing from the loud sound of gunshots. Various types of hearing protection are available, and wearing them can help reduce the risk of permanent hearing damage, improve accuracy, and reduce fatigue.
With all the benefits of shooting ear protection, there is no reason not to grab a pair of earmuffs or earplugs for your next hunting trip out on the range.