Why Hearing Protection is Necessary when Shooting Firearms


Protecting your hearing is paramount when firing weapons, so you will need to purchase the proper protection. Otherwise, repeated exposure to the loud noises generated by firearms will damage your hearing considerably, particularly at the higher end of frequency noises that includes “th”, “v” or “s”.  You will need to become well versed in protecting your hearing and purchasing what is needed so that you can retain the hearing that you have.

Range of Decibels for Firearms

The decibel is a unit of measurement for the intensity level of sound. For every three decibels the sound levels will double in intensity. While firearms will produce different noise levels depending on a number of factors, generally speaking the range starts at 145 decibels for lower caliber weapons such as the .22 and reaches 170 decibels for firearms like the .44 revolver. Most firearms will fall between 145 and 170 in terms of the decibel range that is produced which means that your hearing will be affected if unprotected.

Why Protect Your Hearing?

You can suffer from permanent hearing loss once the decibel levels reach 140 which is actually below the level produced by virtually all firearms. Even levels as low as 85 which is the sound of busy traffic up close can damage your hearing over the long run. So, it is vital that you protect your hearing from the start so that the damage does not occur. If you should experience ringing in the ears when shooting, get to a quiet area immediately so that you can preserve as much of your hearing as possible.

Different Types of Hearing Protection

There are basically two types of hearing protection that you can purchase which are earplugs and earmuffs. Generally speaking, earplugs are better at reducing the overall sound level from 15 to 32 decibels. Earplugs are also more secure than earmuffs which may slip or get out of position which allows your ears to be unprotected.
You will want to check out the noise reduction rating when purchasing either earplugs or earmuffs so that you can verify their effectiveness.

Hunting and Hearing Protection

While firing ranges are a natural for people to wear ear protection, the same may not be true for those who are hunting. This is because many hunters will use their hearing to detect noises that may indicate their prey is not far away or alert them to some type of change that is occurring. There are products such as electronic and nonlinear earmuffs that have been specifically developed for hunters so that they can hear noises at certain decibel ranges while providing protection at stronger levels.

When it comes to how easy it is to have your hearing damaged, it pays to get some type of solid hearing protection. The good news is that many hearing protection products are inexpensive and yet quite effective at protecting your hearing. So, be sure to try out different pairs of earmuffs and earplugs so that you get the type that is best suited for your needs.


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