Why Hunters Should Protect Their Hearing

Why Hunters Should Protect Their Hearing

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We usually see hearing loss as a product of aging, and this is true to an extent as many people typically show symptoms of “wear-and-tear” with their hearing later in life. Yet another form of hearing loss affects people in all age groups, and this one is entirely preventable: noise-related hearing loss.

One of the most common occupational diseases in the U.S., it is widely underreported and undertreated. We’re talking about hearing damage from repeated or prolonged exposure to loud noise. A wide range of loud noises can be harmful to human hearing, particularly over an extended period. For hunters, hearing protection is recommended.  Let’s look at noise-induced hearing loss and what you can do to protect your hearing.

Why are hunters most at risk?

The sounds generated from hunting can damage your hearing permanently if you are not wearing ear protection. Most shooters will not hesitate to put on their ear protection at the firing range, but they are less cautious when hunting outside. Regrettably, each shot can damage your hearing, whether outside or not. 

Research by the University of Wisconsin studied people over the age of 40 who routinely hunt. They found that hunters have a higher risk of high-frequency hearing loss, increasing their risk by seven percent every five years.

Those who have high-frequency hearing loss have trouble listening to consonants like “s,” “th,” and “v.” They might think others are mumbling as a result. 

Only 5% of the men who participated in this study reported wearing hearing protection in the past year. That means that 95% did not wear ear protection when hunting.

As a hunter, how can I protect my hearing?

You can do the following to reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss:

  • Avoid or limit overly loud sound exposure.
  • Turn the music volume down when using earbuds.
  • If possible, move away from the noisy sound source.
  • Visit us at HearCare Audiology to perform hearing tests if you are concerned about a possible hearing loss.
  • When it is impossible to avoid loud sound exposures or to reduce them to a safe level, use hearing protection.

Consider hearing protection

Hunters are reluctant to wear hearing protection because they are concerned that they are filtering out the subtle sounds they need to hear. 

This is why filtered custom hearing protection is a perfect way to protect your ears if you are a hunter. You can hear the rustling leaves, but when you fire a shot, the filter is triggered and reduces your exposure to safe levels so you won’t hurt your hearing.

Whether you are a hunter or not, we have a wide range of personalized hearing protection to protect you. We provide custom-fit hearing protection. This is meant to suit your particular ear shape and size. Over-the-counter earplugs can protect you too, but custom-fit hearing protection offers superior comfort, protection, and a more secure fit. 

To find out more, please contact us today.