Guns are notoriously dangerous; however did you realize that they can do more than kill a paper target or that majestic ten-point buck? They can kill your hearing just as quickly and easily as any other target. Just one shot from a large bore rifle can produce sounds in excess of 150 decibels (dB). According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, severe hearing loss can occur with as little as one shot if the conditions are right. During this time of year, as hunters are out diligently hunting and gathering, audiologists are seeing more and more patients who have damaged their hearing from exposure to gun shots.
While most hunters realize the danger of loud gunshots, many still choose to not protect their hearing for a variety of reasons. The most common response to why they choose not to wear hearing protection, is that it interferes with their ability to hear their surroundings. Hunters rely quite heavily on their hearing when they are hunting; while noise cancelling ear plugs may protect their ears, they don’t allow them to hear anything else which is detrimental to hunting. The next biggest issue with hearing protection is that many ear plugs or headphones are bulky and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there is a perfect solution for hunters and other gun enthusiasts out there – digital hearing protection. Digital hearing protection products have the unique ability to protect the ears from sounds over 90 dB while still allowing the lower decibel noises to filter in. Imagine sitting in your deer blind and being able to hear the sound of a squirrel rustling around outside or a deer blowing, but deafening the sound of your shotgun blast down to a muffle! If you have never tried a pair of digital ear plugs, you will be amazed at the clarity of low decibel sounds.
Digital hearing protection products are also extremely comfortable, not cumbersome or ill-fitting, but custom sized to each specific ear canal. Products such as the ESP America Digital Ear Protection are not only exceptionally comfortable and durable, but also lightweight and easy to insert. In fact, the custom fit is so precise that many wearers say they even forgot they were actually wearing ear plugs.
Hearing loss affects an astounding 48 million individuals in the US. While a small percentage of hearing loss cannot be prevented, the majority of hearing loss is completely preventable with the proper protection. Unfortunately, if hearing loss occurs due to loud noises, it is a permanent condition. Preventing hearing loss before it has the opportunity to present itself is the wisest course of action. Digital hearing protection is one effective way to accomplish that. If you happen to be a hunter, target shooter or even a law enforcement officer who is exposed to the loud decibels of gunshots, take a minute to look at our digital hearing protection options.