Why Should You Wear Hearing Protection When Shooting?
Shooting is one of the most popular hobbies in America, but it has downsides. If you're not wearing hearing protection, for example, you could end up with permanent hearing loss. We'll explain what causes this damage and why wearing the right hearing protection when shooting is so important to prevent it.
What Is A Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss occurs when the delicate structures of the inner ear have been damaged by exposure to loud noises. It can be temporary or permanent and can occur in one or both ears. Hearing loss is not the same as deafness (specifically, an absence of functional hearing). Many people with milder forms of hearing loss are successfully fitted with devices known as hearing aids that amplify ambient sound and make speech more intelligible.
How Does It Happen?
The sound you hear when shooting a gun is due to all three actions when the bullet leaves the barrel. First, there's the noise of the gun itself. This is caused by gases escaping from your gun as it fires and causes an explosion that propels the bullet downrange.
Second, there's also a strong sonic shock wave produced when your rifle fires (known as a "recoil"), which pushes back against you and makes your ears ring for about three seconds after you stop firing. Finally, if you're shooting outdoors on windy days—or even indoors near large windows or walls—you might also experience an echo from nearby objects that bounces back at you along with your own gunshots.
Why You Should Wear Hearing Protection When Shooting
The most common side effect of shooting without protection is tinnitus. Tinnitus is a ringing in your ears that can be caused by exposure to loud noise, such as the sound of gunshots. If you don't wear hearing protection, it's easy to end up with hearing damage and tinnitus like this guy:
You should also know that this damage cannot be reversed once you have permanent damage to your ears from high-decibel sounds (like the gunshots from guns). In other words: if you don't wear earplugs or muffs on the range today (or even tomorrow), you might end up with permanent damage to your hearing—for life! One way we can avoid permanently damaging our hearing during shooting sessions is by wearing earplugs or muffs whenever we're at the range.
How To Choose The Best Hearing Protection
When choosing hearing protection, comfort is key. You should be able to wear your earplugs for hours without them becoming uncomfortable or distracting you from your task at hand. The best hearing protection is also easy to put on and take off, so if you need to quickly remove them in order to hear what someone else is saying while you are shooting, they should fit comfortably enough that they won't bother you when not in use.
If a pair of plugs fall out during firing practice or when hunting for the game, then it will undoubtedly cause problems for the user - especially since most hunters carry only one set of earmuffs! Therefore it's important that any pair purchased fits snugly so as not only to keep them from being dislodged but also avoid any discomfort during long periods of wear, such as those experienced by hunters over several days spent in their blinds awaiting an animal's appearance near dusk/dawn hours.
If you're a gun owner and shooter, you must take the necessary steps to protect your hearing. By purchasing a pair of shooting ear protection and wearing them every time you go out with your gun, you can reduce the chances of hearing loss from gunfire noise exposure. Not only does this help keep yourself safe from possible long-term damage to your ears, but it also ensures that you can enjoy shooting for years to come!