Noise exposure: Shooting


Did you know that Worksafe BC notes that even a single exposure to gunfire can cause permanent hearing loss by damaging the hair cells of the cochlea?

Firearms have sound levels from 150-175dB peak (Meinke, et al. 2017). Exposure to these loud sounds put users at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and effects the high frequencies of the ear essential for speech understanding.  It is recommended that when using any firearm hearing protection should be worn. 

Reports suggest that hunters are reluctant to wear hearing protection because hunting requires the perception of environmental sounds, and regular foam plugs or earmuffs block out too much.  There is a solution for this!  Electronic earmuffs such as the Bilsom Impact, or the Peltor Tactical, provide amplification to the user up to 82 dB, and then reduce sound above 82 dB so these sounds do not enter the ear and cause potential damage.  Plugs with an acoustic filter such as Hearsmart’s shooter plugs allow the user to hear what is going on around them but when a shot is fired, a dual membrane acoustic filter activates and protects the ear from the impulse noise at that time.

In the case of a shooting range, dual hearing protection is recommended, such as a foam plug and an earmuff on top.

However you are using firearms whether it is for recreation or work purposes, remember to protect your ears. Investing in hearing protection now, could save you investing in hearing amplification down the line.

If you need more information about noise exposure, or how you can protect your hearing, contact us using the button below. 


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