Protecting your ears from loud noise is important if you enjoy shooting for a variety of different reasons. Because hearing loss from noise is a huge problem that is completely irreversible, prevention often becomes the focus and comes in the form of using traditional earplugs and more technological savvy devices.
Who Needs Ear Protection?
There are a number of people who are often affected by hearing loss caused by loud noise, and ear protection is the single best way to prevent further damage that can be caused by gunshots. You need to look into ear protection options that block noise if you:
- Enjoy shooting guns for sport
- Hunt, whether for food, fun, or sport
- Work in a sound environment with firearms, such as the military or law enforcement
How to Prevent More Hearing Loss from Noise
Effective hearing protection on the market can stop more hearing loss from developing due to loud noises like shooting firearms. There are a variety of ways you can protect your hearing and ears, including the following safety options that each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages:
A type of ear protection used by all ages and available at your local stores for a low price, earplugs can range in price and quality for different types of noises. From loud concerts and working with aircraft to shooting firearms, earplugs are an easy go-to option to protect your hearing.
Earplugs designed for shooting often have acoustic filters in them that allow you to hear some of your surrounding noise. By blocking the ear canal, plugs keep sound from reaching the inner ear and cancel out close-range gunshots or other noise.
However, depending on the environment you are shooting in, plugs can make it more difficult to pay attention to your surroundings. The best hearing protection for your ears will reduce permanent hearing loss and can be coupled with more advantaged electronic protection options on the market today.
Electronic Hearing Protection
Technology has produced some pretty cool tools that allow you to protect your hearing while subjecting yourself to lots of loud noises, such as shooting guns for sport or hunting. A great advantage to using a form of electronic hearing protection is that you don’t need to remove your earplugs or muffs when you want to have a conversation.
Electronic earmuffs were created to allow you to hear your surroundings at a normal level. But when a dangerously loud noise sounds off, the device deactivates the speakers in the earpieces that allow you to hear and blocks sound until it reaches a safe decibel level.
They also have two separate systems, one for each ear, which makes them perfect for shooters. Often, shooters display hearing loss more on the side they hold their gun. So frequent gun users can protect both ears equally with an electronic device.
These earmuffs also have sound-absorbing foam in the muffs to protect your hearing if a battery were to die, for instance. People also have the ability to turn the volume up more, which can allow you to hear and tell which direction a sound is coming from better than usual. Hunters especially enjoy these features.
Those in the military, usually the first to test out new technologies, use both electronic and passive hearing protection devices to protect against both firearm noise and machinery such as helicopters and tanks.
Some silencers can reduce noise by up to 30 decibels, which is definitely less likely to damage hearing.
Many people like to use silencers because they reduce the noise that comes with shooting firearms, making it more pleasant for the shooter and protecting their hearing. They are also helpful when new shooters take classes to learn safe shooting form and practice.
The Hearing Protection Act
If you handle firearms on a regular basis, you probably are familiar with the recent Hearing Protection Act that regards gun silencers. This act allows you to purchase a gun silencer simply by following the same rules you need to pass to buy a gun and removes them from a rigorous and lengthy federal registration process. State laws still vary though.
On the other hand, they’re so quiet that people wouldn’t be able to tell if a mass shooting were taking place nearby without the noise. Crimes and involve the misuse of suppressors as well as firearms.
However, the hearing protect act works to bring down the amount of taxes and intense screening process you used to have to go through to buy a silencer in an effort to protect more people’s hearing from gunshot-related noise.
Whether you choose cheap and simple earplugs, combine their use with an electronic hearing protection model offered by technology today, or opt for total noise reduction by purchasing a silencer that’s easier than ever to obtain, protect your ears from hearing damage when shooting.