Learn How to Protect Your Hearing When You Go Hunting

Today we have a guest post by John O’Conner. I wish I had read his advice sooner (although I may still go to indoor ranges with the proper ear protection). Enjoy!

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 bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!

Learn How to Protect Your Hearing When You Go Hunting

Going hunting can be an exciting activity that leads to increased physical fitness and an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors.  If you are an avid hunter, or a beginner hunter, taking precautions to protect your hearing while you hunt can help to ensure that you are able to safely enjoy hunting for many years to come.  In many cases, hearing loss is not noticed immediately.  My father was a hunter for many years and he often neglected his hearing while out in the field.  He even said, “I don’t feel anything or notice anything different, so why do I need hearing protection?”  Little did he know that every time he fired his gun without hearing protection on he was further damaging his eardrums.  He eventually made an appointment with his doctor, who told him that although not the only cause, hunting has played a major role in damaging his hearing.  He now wears hearing aids to help increase hearing levels, and every time he now heads out to the field he always remembers to have his hearing protection on at all times.

Precautions to Take During Hunting for People Who Have Hearing Loss

Many hunters make the mistake of believing that since they have been hunting without hearing protective devices for years they are not at risk of receiving hearing damage.  However, this is not always true as many cases of hearing loss can happen gradually.  In addition to gradual hearing loss being a possibility, it is also not uncommon for a person to suffer immediate hearing damage the moment a firearm is fired.  Taking precautions now by investing in hearing protection can help to greatly reduce the probability of a person suffering from hearing damage when he or she goes hunting or to a firing range.

Anyone who likes to hunt and who has suffered from partial hearing loss can investigate hearing aid options to help them hunt safely and successfully.  Hearing aids can provide enhanced sensitivity to hearing sounds that may be difficult to hear for a person who has experienced hearing damage.  In addition to this aid, people with hearing loss may also consider investing in electronic ear protection muffs that provide transmitters to pick up on low sound frequencies.  These devices work both as hearing protection and as an aid to hear low noises better.

Stay Away From Indoor Shooting Ranges

If you enjoy target shooting to spruce up your shooting ability, it is a good idea to choose an outdoor location to practice target shooting.  Indoor ranges and arenas can increase the amplified sounds of firearms when they are fired.  These extremely loud noises can provide further potential damage to a person’s ears.  Choosing an outdoor arena and wearing earmuffs, earplugs or another form of hearing protection is a great way to practice shooting your firearm safely and smartly.

Keep Everyone’s Hearing Safe While Hunting

Hearing damage during hunting can happen gradually over time, or it can happen immediately.  Some people do not realize they have suffered any type of hearing damage until it is too late.  Staying informed on hearing health and investing in quality hearing protection aids will help you to hunt safely.  It is also important to remember that anyone who is in close proximity of a hunter or someone who fires a gun should also wear hearing protection products.

Many times, parents take their children or their friends hunting with them so a group of people can enjoy a favored activity together.  All people who are in close distance of a firearm being fired will need to wear earplugs or earmuffs to avoid potential damage occurring to their hearing.
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