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Why Hearing Protection is Needed in Firearms

Mar 06, 2023

Hearing protection is necessary when using firearms to prevent hearing damage or loss. Firearms produce an extremely loud noise when fired, and the repeated exposure to these loud sounds can cause hearing damage over time.

The noise produced by firearms can range from around 140 decibels (dB) for small caliber handguns to over 170 dB for larger rifles and shotguns. These levels are well above the recommended safe exposure limits of 85 dB for a period of eight hours, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Without proper hearing protection, exposure to these loud sounds can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and other hearing-related issues. The damage caused by firearm noise is cumulative, so even occasional exposure can add up over time and lead to hearing problems.

There are several types of hearing protection available for use with firearms, including earplugs, earmuffs, and custom-molded earplugs. Earplugs are small devices that fit into the ear canal and reduce the level of noise that reaches the eardrum. Earmuffs are larger devices that cover the entire ear and provide more protection than earplugs. Custom-molded earplugs are made from a mold of the user's ear and provide a comfortable and secure fit.

It's important to note that hearing protection should be worn by anyone who is exposed to firearm noise, whether they are the shooter or a bystander. This includes law enforcement officers, military personnel, hunters, and anyone who visits shooting ranges or participates in shooting sports.

In addition to preventing hearing damage, wearing hearing protection can also improve shooting accuracy by reducing the distracting effects of loud noise. It can also help to prevent communication problems between shooters and others on the range, as hearing protection can reduce the ability to hear and understand spoken words.

Overall, hearing protection is essential when using firearms to prevent hearing damage and maintain overall auditory health. It is a simple and effective way to protect your hearing and ensure that you can continue to enjoy shooting sports and other activities without risking your hearing health.

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