Most important Hunting Accessory: Ear protection

If you shoot without the use of ear protection, the blast from your gun, and others near you, will cause damage to the delicate cells of your inner ear.  Even if you don't notice right away, the damage is done, and it will cause some hearing loss.  

To put it in perspective: OSHA (the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration)  REQUIREs ear protection for workers who are exposed to "on the job" noise levels over 85 decibels during the work day.  That is the begining decibel level (dBs), that is known to cause hearing loss with 8 hours of exposure.

A typical rifle shot is around 140 dB.  A 12 Gauge Shotgun can blast around 165 dB, and can cause immediate irreversable damage to the inner ear. 

  You can use disposable ear plugs (follow the directions precisely for effective use), or the over the ear noise muffs.  You may opt to use Custom made noise plugs, or even electronic Hunters' plugs which amplfy the soft, distant sounds, while protecting against sudden loud gun blasts.  These can be purchased in our office.  But do use ear protection of some kind whenever you shoot.

Even if you only shoot a few times per year, the noise from gunfire can damage your hearing every time.  

For a consultation or recommendations for protective ear gear, call 541 757-4999.  

 

Author
Sheri Smith, MS, F-AAA Audiologist

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October is Audiology Awareness Month

An audiologist is a health-care professional, specialist in identifying, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring disorders of the auditory and vestibular systems. Audiologists are trained to diagnose, manage and/or treat hearing and tinnitus problems.