Today I’m happy to share my blog with a guest writer for the first time. When John O’Connor first messaged me with flattery and a request to be a guest, I thought it was a scam. But, it turns out this was for realzies! How nice to have somebody who is not my mom or husband or bff show such interest in what I write. Did you know October is National Audiology Awareness Month AND National Protect your Hearing Month? Well, being a being a lover of music, voice over and gab, I’m a big fan of hearing, so everybody lend an ear to John as he writes about hearing loss and firearms:
Hi my name is John O’Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss. My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss. I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can. Check out my new blog at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!
Easy ways to prevent hearing loss while hunting
Using firearms can lead to hearing loss if measures are not taken to protect hearing. Whether hunting or at the shooting range, firearms are loud enough to permanently damage hearing. The good news is that there are several ways to protect hearing and reduce any potential hearing loss.
Hearing can be lost when exposed to noise greater than 140dB. Most all firearms produce noise that is louder than the 140 db level. In general, the shorter the gun barrel length the greater the potential for noise injury. Sometimes it only takes one shot to sustain damage to the ear.
Factors that can influence noise injury include the time exposed to the noise and repetitive shooting. Continuous exposure to loud noises can severely harm your ears. Make the right choices now in order to ensure proper hearing healthy in the future.
Protect your Hearing
People who wear hearing aids or already have hearing loss need to be pro-active to save the hearing they have. Most hearing aids are designed to protect hearing by lowering the amplification of sounds that are above 100 dB. My father has been into hunting for years but never put much attention on his hearing protection. Although in his late 70’s and still hunting to this day, he now wears a hearing aid to help increase hearing levels.
It is important to wear ear protection any time a gun is fired. Earplugs and earmuffs are two common hearing protective devices (HPDs). Earplugs block sound when placed into the ear canal. They are typically made of foam or silastic. They come in different sizes and are easily packed. Foam earplugs are comfortable yet in cold weather they may not fit as well.
Earmuffs fit on the head and over the ears. They create a tight acoustic seal and can be rounded or tapered to allow for the stock to be placed against the cheek without touching the earmuff. Consider around the neck earmuffs if a hat needs to be accommodated.
Electric earmuffs and earplugs allow the hunter to hear environmental sounds and to easily talk while providing hearing protection when needed. Electric HPDs will make soft sounds louder, yet shut off and not allow sound to pass through when there is a loud noise.
Sportsmen can safely hunt and target practice with the proper HPDs. They should be part of your gear and worn when exposed to gunfire. Once hearing is lost it cannot be restored.