Hearing loss is a serious problem faced by many people who like to hunt and shoot recreationally, a problem which is only amplified by the amount of people who do not wear hearing protection. In a recent study which had 3,753 participants, 38% of target shooters and 95% of hunters said they had not used hearing protection in the past year. As one could imagine here in Hardin Country, being an area where many people hunt and shoot recreationally, it is a place where many people see these effects happening to them.
Why is This So Common?
It’s no surprise that firearms produce very loud impulse noises, a standard rifle causing a 156-decibel noise only 1 meter away from the ear. Due to this while someone is not wearing ear protection damage to the eardrum becomes certain. For many people, they do not wear hearing protection due to the simple fact that they do not believe it meets their needs. For hunters especially they’re concerned about missing important noises such as the flapping of wings while for people at shooting ranges they prefer to be able to hear the people around them.
Two Types of Hearing Protection
Many don’t realize the large variety of options they have when it comes to hearing protection for hunting and shooting. These sorts of protection can be classified into the categories of passive and active protection. Passive protection is your usual earmuffs or earplugs which are meant to block out all noise. Even should this sort of protection not meet all of your wants, having at least a set of earplugs is considered by many to still be a necessity, as going completely without hearing protection will almost certainly lead to noise-induced hearing loss.
On the other hand, there is the option of active hearing protection. This sort of protection is considered by many to be the ideal hearing protection for hunting, as it prevents hearing loss from loud impulse noises while still allowing the wearer to hear the environment around them. This works electronically by having the device respond actively to the noise around it through a process known as destructive interference which creates an inverse sound to block out the incoming soundwave.
Active hearing protection effectively meets all of the concerns hunters and recreational shooters have and eliminates any reason not to wear hearing protection. Some of these active devices even come with features specifically meant to help hunters, for example, some can pinpoint what direction a sound is coming from or enhance all noises below a certain decibel threshold, truly becoming a device specifically catered to hunters.
Should you have any concerns involving your hearing or hearing protection then please contact us at Big Thicket Hearing Aids & Audiology where we will provide affordable hearing care to the Big Thicket communities. Click here to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Joni Ruiz is the owner and Doctor of Audiology at Big Thicket Hearing Aids and Audiology. She earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009 from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Selected for a prestigious fourth-year externship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ruiz has more than ten years’ experience as an Audiologist. She has a heart for patient-centered care. At her hearing care practice, she performs comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations, provides aural rehabilitation to her patients and their loved ones, dispenses state of the art hearing aids, and manages the care of said devices for their life. Dr. Ruiz is dedicated to patient education regarding hearing loss, hearing protection, and hearing aid selection.