Your new best friend!
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 www.bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!
For most hunters, they put a lot of emphasis on the safety of this hobby and all of the small details that go into having a safe trip. Unfortunately, some hunters are not as safe as they should be when out in the wilderness. You probably have a checklist of all of the things that you need every time you go out hunting with friends and relatives. However, if you don't have any type of hearing protection on that list, you are missing something incredibly vital.
Your hearing loss cannot be reversed once it happens. You can use a hearing aid or hearing aids to help pick up sounds around you, but you will never truly be able to get your hearing back. My father who has been hunting for years now is severely affected by hearing loss due to hunting. Although hunting is not the number one cause for his hearing loss it did play a large roll. Now in his 70’s he still likes to get out and hunt but always remembers to bring the proper hearing protection with him so he doesn't damage his hearing further. This is why prevention is key for anyone who wants to preserve this particular human sense. Protecting your ears and your hearing can be easier than you might think, but it needs to become a habit that gets added onto your hunting checklist before you go out. The benefits of protecting your hearing are practically endless and can make a difference for you later on in life.
You are probably thinking about ways that you can protect your ears from hearing damage, but you also need to put some emphasis on the hearing of your group members. Even group members who are not going to be firing guns need to wear some type of hearing protection. Gunfire is incredibly loud and can do an enormous amount of damage to a person's hearing. This is why you need to protect both your ears and the ears of your friends and family members before you venture out into the wilderness.
You should definitely make a stop to your local sporting goods store to see what type of hearing protection they have available. Most of the time, you will be able to find earplugs and headphones in the area where the guns are sold. You should also ask an employee what they recommend when it comes to hunting and protecting your hearing. Certain headphones are more suited for hunters because they are camouflaged or are easier to remove when you are wearing gloves. Your sporting goods store will carry any and all of these types of items for you to choose from.
As stated before, hearing loss is basically irreversible. You should always have the best types of hearing protection products on hand every single time you go out hunting with friends. You should also make sure that you bring extra earplugs for your friends if they forgot to bring some of their own. Being a good hunter does not only entail being able to catch game. You also need to know how to be a safe hunter and to keep those around you safe while firing your gun.
Note from Rodrigo: This post was written by fellow blogger John O'Connor, and although the topic is a bit different than what I write about, it is very relevant to all hunters and shooters.
As a consequence of Menière's Disease I have tinnitus (that disturbing ringing in the ears), but luckily no hearing loss. You will find earplugs in the pockets of most of my jackets (including the ones I use to work). I use earplugs every time I fire a gun, both at the gun club and especially when dove and waterfowl hunting. If I am shooting a high power rifle, I will use both earplugs and ear muffs. I even use earplugs on commercial flights, particularly the overnight ones. Earplugs sell for under one dollar, and that small investment will have a big impact in the quality of your life.