Hearing Loss Affects Sportsmen

Guest Post

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!

 Hunters Begin to Develop Hearing Loss

In the fall months, many people enjoy going hunting with their loved ones and friends.  Hunting is a great sport that teaches a person about patience and living off of the land.  Unfortunately, there is also a major issue concerning hunting that many people do not even think about before going out to catch game.  The issue concerns hearing loss and how much of an impact it can have on your life if you go hunting without using some type of ear protection. My father who has been an avid hunter since I can remember is severely affected by hearing loss.  For many years he did not pay much attention to his hearing and after awhile it reached a level where he decided to make an appointment with his doctor.  His doctor told him that a big reason why his hearing has decreased so much over the years is because he failed to use the proper protection while out in the field.  He was prescribed hearing aids to help improve his hearing levels and has been conscious about his hearing levels and hearing protection while hunting ever since.  It is important to first understand how essential your hearing is and then to understand how you can protect yourself.

Your hearing is an essential part of living a comfortable and fulfilled life.  Believe it or not, your ears are a lot more sensitive than you might think.  Every loud noise or piece of heavy machinery that you use is impacting and affecting your hearing.  This is why you need to make sure that you protect your ears if you go out hunting.

When hunting, many people use guns and whistles to catch their game.  When using a gun, it is absolutely imperative that you also use some type of ear protection.  One of the best things you can do is to use earplugs when you are firing a gun.  These small foam items are inserted right into the ear canal so that your hearing is fully protected.  You will find that the earplugs are also rather comfortable when worn for long periods of time.  They can really help to drown out the noise of the gun if you happen to fire it.

If you do not have the time or patience to use ear plugs when out in the wilderness, you may just want to invest in good quality pair of noise-reducing earmuffs.  You can find these in most hunting supply stores or in any store that also sells guns.  These can be worn just like headphones and serve to fully protect your hearing.  Some hunters find earmuffs much more comfortable than earplugs and a lot more effective in the long run.

If you hunt long enough and use a gun often enough, there is a good chance that your hearing will be impaired if you do not also use protection.  Most types of ear protection are very inexpensive and will serve of great benefit to your in the long run. The overall point is to be as safe as possible while you are out in the wilderness hunting so that you can fully enjoy your hearing in the future.

John O'Connor

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2 thoughts on “Hearing Loss Affects Sportsmen

  1. Like many sportsmen and former soldiers, I have damaged hearing. Normally a right-handed shooter will suffer the greatest hearing loss in his or her left ear. The gun blast hits the left ear full-on while the right ear is somewhat protected. While it is too late to undo years of damage shooting 10,000 rounds of everything from a .22 to a .44, .45ACP, .308, and 12 guage shotguns, there are products that will protect a person's ears while enhancing their hearing. The new amplified hearing protectors have microphones to pick up and amply sounds in a 360 degree area around the wearer. When a shot is fired, the electronics shut down and protect the person's hearing as well as any shooter's ear muffs. I often use my head set when out in the Alaskan woods to boost my normally damaged hearing. It enables me to hear critters that might eat me or stomp me at a further distance than even a person with normal hearing could hear. I can also plug my .mp3 player into the headphones when I am just sitting in the sun. I wish I had had them back in the 50's and 60's.

  2. I would like to thank John for the timely article. Many of us believe hearing protection is too cumbersome or affects our chances of harvesting wildlife. I will admit I often fall into that group when deer hunting with a rifle. A pistol is a different story. The sharp percussion from a hand cannon can leave you wondering who got the worse end of the deal! Of course, there is no reason to skip using hearing protection when target practicing. Be safe out there.

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