There is a good reason you must always protect your hearing when you are shooting—whether out in the field or in a range. Excessive exposure to loud noise is one of the most common causes of hearing impairment in American adults. Even small caliber weapons pose real danger. The noise produced by a gun is classified as one of the most dangerous noises human beings can be exposed to.
How Noisy is a Gun?
The report of a rifle causes permanent loss of the ability to hear when the proper precautions are not employed. When you fire a gun, you expose yourself to a sound intensity of 140 decibels (dB).
A decibel is the measurement of sound intensity expressed in a logarithmic scale. This means that since an environment in near-total silence is at 0 dB, sounds that register as 30 dB is around a thousand times louder than near-total silence.
While the sound of a gun is transient, it is a high-decibel type of noise way above the level of sound human ears can tolerate without damage, which is at 90 dB. Even prolonged exposure to noise levels that register as 85 decibels can lead to irreparable damage to the cochlea, the organ for hearing. At 140 decibels, a single gunshot can be very loud indeed.
What Kind of Protection do You Need?
When you use guns regularly to shoot for game and do not wear appropriate protection, you might experience gradual healing loss. This often occurs unnoticed since it is painless, and there are no other symptoms.
Fortunately, all this is preventable. Custom-made hunting hearing protection is designed specifically to provide maximum safeguarding from the harmful effects of a rifle’s loud crack.
The report of a gun lasts only a few seconds, but it is loud enough to lead to permanent ear damage. Many varieties of protective gear exist, and if you regularly use guns then it is imperative that you wear adequate protection while shooting.