When hunting, it’s advisable to observe safety measures. Hunters must be aware of the dangers that may occur while hunting and therefore proper handling of guns to dressing and licenses should be considered. Many hunters, according to experts, tend to underestimate the importance of protecting their ears, and a number of them will hunt without hearing protection devices. A gunshot can cause a lot of damage to the ear since the noise exceeds the recommended sound exposure.
Sound, as perceived by the ear, is measured in units called decibels (dB). A Simple comparison can help to explain the damage caused by a single gunshot. A gunshot can measure up to 150 dB which compared to a normal conversation noise (60dB) is almost 3 times. The sound of such intensity is likely to cause hearing problems, though different ears react differently to noise exposure. However, it is important to note that hearing loss occur painlessly and slowly with long-term effects in some cases. In other cases, a sound of 130dB or more is enough to cause instant ear damage.
Experts argue that for a permanent hearing damage to occur one must be subjected to a sound frequency of 130dB or above. Continuous exposure to noise at 80dB for more than eight hours can also cause permanent hearing damage. So why gamble with your hearing while there are precautionary measures with as little charges as 50 cents? Protection is always better than cure and for permanent hearing damage, there is no cure!
Most readers will argue that they have been exposed to loud noises and fired several gunshots without protection and are still in perfect hearing. The human body is composed of systems such as the nervous system. The systems are made up of specific tissues that perform specific functions. For example, the muscle tissue is capable of adaptation if exposed to vigorous physical activity or extreme conditions such as long distance running. These tissues respond by growing stronger. However, other tissues of the nervous system such as brain functions and hearing respond to tissue abuse by growing weaker and weaker. Once these tissues experience enough abuse they lose their functionality for the remainder of the individual’s life. The hearing problem occurs slowly and therefore may go unnoticed until the last minute of hearing loss. Ear protection is, therefore, precautionary even if no symptoms are available.
An early symptom of hearing loss can present itself earlier in some cases. Tinnitus refers to the perception of sound by human ear when there is no sound present. This condition is common with people who work in areas with loud noises without protection. This is a clear indication that your ears are in danger. Hearing loss can present itself at any age, therefore it’s important to take precautionary measures for every individual in the hunting group. Some retail shops offer protection devices for animals such as dogs.
Several varieties of ear plugs and ear muffs are used to provide protection to the ears during shooting. These products are designed to reduce the amount of sound reaching the eardrum and therefore reducing it to a lower frequency than the original. Each package of the ear muffs and plugs come with a reduction rating. It’s usually indicated using decibels (dB) e.g. 40dB. The higher the number indicated on the package the more effective they block more noise. The question is if guns produce so much noise do the earmuffs and plugs with such low frequency really help?
First, the sound produced by a gun travels in a forward direction and therefore the sound that reaches the ear is much reduced. Second, the main purpose of using protection is not to completely get rid of the noise, but to reduce its impact to the ear. This will prevent long-lasting damage to the ear. Scientific research on ear protection has shown that the protection works within the range the common devices are set. So again do not underestimate the protection power of the devices.
Earmuffs have been on the use of hearing protection, especially during shooting range. They are advantageous since they can be used and reused for years. They are of different varieties ranging from simple ones to electronic ones. An electronic earmuff allows the hunter to experience normal hearing levels of the surrounding noise and at the same time prevent loud noise from reaching the ear. A simple mechanism is involved when a loud noise is detected because the earmuff speakers are deactivated until a safe level of sound is reached.
However, electronic earmuffs are expensive in terms of money but they worth the price. To some extent, hunting enthusiasts combine the use of earmuffs and ear plugs. The combination provides an added advantage in protection but each device works independently. And that’s why the user cannot add their specific frequencies to obtain a combined protection frequency.