December 3, 2012

Guest Post: Hunting and Hearing Loss

Hi, my name is John O'Connor. I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Over the past few years, I have become more and more interested in hearing loss. my father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss. I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around this issue, and it is our job to spread awareness where we can. Check out my blog at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!

Hunting And Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is permanent and it affects millions of people everyday. My father is affected by hearing loss and most of the damage is due to hunting. He still hunts but now a days wears hearing-aids to help him hear better along with his protective earmuffs. Hobbies like hunting and shooting are some of the top reasons that people suffer from hearing loss. While many people who are simply shooting at a range take the right precautions to ensure their hearing is not in danger, those who are out in the wilderness hunting will often leave the hearing protection at home. There are many things that all hunters should keep in their packs including earplugs, earmuffs and some new technological advances that help hunters to protect their hearing without muffling any other sounds around them.

Ear Plugs
Earplugs are one of the most convenient, affordable and popular types of hearing protection. These are available as small, disposable plugs that are extremely inexpensive. The plastic plugs will fit into virtually any ear and are easy to insert. They are very inexpensive so it is pretty cheap to have more than one set available at all times. While loud noises are muffled with the earplugs, most people will still be able to hear through them, unlike earmuffs that muffle all sounds. With the ear plugs, most hunters will still be able to hear people around them talking as well as many sounds of nature; like the wild game they are hunting for.

Full Ear Covers
Ear covers, otherwise known as earmuffs muffle all sounds. When a hunter puts on a set of earmuffs they will not be exposed to as much of the sound of the rifle or shotgun although they will also not be able to hear the elements of the woods. Because of this many hunters may look to use electronic earmuffs in order to be able to not only blocks sounds out from shooting but also to be able to hear others around them.

New Advances In Technology
Today, hunters do not need to settle for putting earplugs in every time they shoot or leaving on earmuffs that cancel out all noise; there is now a compromise. The new advances include a small device that is placed behind the ear, kind of like a hearing aid. This development allows hunters to save their hearing while being able to listen for the noises they need when out in the wild. Hearing loss can happen when one is exposed to high decibels over 85 for continued or repeated use. With the average rifle having a decibel level of 120 to 150, it is no surprise that the repeated sound of a rifle can cause immediate and permanent hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is called noise induced hearing loss; it is 100% preventable when one of the many types of hearing protection is used every time a rifle is fired.

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