Friday, October 26, 2012

Hunting and Hearing Protection
Hunting, Hearing and Fashion

Guest Post by John O'Connor

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 the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can. Check out my new blog at!

Hunting and Hearing 

When I first went hunting with my father, he fitted me with a gun and the right visibility clothing, and then he showed me how to insert earplugs to protect my hearing. At first I thought they felt weird, and a lot of my other teenage friends never wore hearing protection. Being at an age where everything was a fashion contest, I argued with him that the shots weren’t that loud and I never experienced any pain in my ears. My father told me that he wished my grandfather would have known more about hearing protection and taught him to wear the proper protection while hunting. Because of hunting and a few other reasons my father, now in his late 70’s has been affected by hearing loss for years. He now wears a hearing aid to help amplify hearing levels and is grateful that the damage was not worse. Since then I have always been conscious about my hearing protection while hunting.

Guns are Loud! 

According to the Center for Disease Control, the sound of a firearm can exceed 140 dB, making it an occupational hazard. When you consider the fact that a normal conversation is 60dB, and each increase of ten dB means the sound is twice as loud, you begin to realize how damaging firearm sounds can be! A gunshot is 256 times louder than a normal conversation, and can be very damaging over time. A study found that the older the hunter, the more likely he or she was to have experienced hearing loss.

Loud noises damage the ear by causing the loss of inner and outer hair cells deep within the ear. Noise damage can also cause the swelling of small parts in the ear and damage the nerve cells that transmit sounds to the brain. This type of damage lead to the feeling of pressure in the ear, ringing in the ear, difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds or background noise, and hearing loss.

Protecting Your Ears 

While the foam earplugs served me well in the 1970s, today’s technology has made strides in ear protection. A lot of hunters say that they don’t wear hearing protection because they don’t want to miss the sounds of the experience or a comment from someone in their hunting party. They don’t need to worry with electronic earmuffs. According to the Sight & Hearing Association, these high-tech muffs only block sounds that are above 110 decibels, so hunters can still hear the leaves crackle beneath their feet. If these aren’t an option, then the classic earmuff-style protectors do just fine. Those who wear hearing aids should ask a doctor whether to leave them in or take them out when using protection. The CDC also recommends that anyone who has constant exposure to high noise (like someone who goes to the shooting range two hours a day) should wear double protection – earplugs and earmuffs.

When my children have grown old enough to hunt I will make sure to teach them the proper rules to ensure not only hearing protection but overall safety. I am excited to not only pass on a great sport, but also great advice that will protect them as they get older. -- ###

~ ~ ~ 

For the crème de la crème in hearing protection, check out a suppressor for your rifle. My friends at Thompson Machine will set you up right. - c

The new for 2012 Thompson Machine Isis-9mm sounds great on .300BLK. Here's a demonstration on an 11.5" AR in .300BLK. Note that the Isis-2 9mm is rated for Subsonic .300BLK only. Supersonic ammo is fired in this video for comparison purposes only.


hely fely said...

Hmm good idea!! I am happy to check this site and have added this in my bookmark list. Ear plug info