Shooting your firearms at the range produces a lot of noise, and for those that do not take the sounds seriously, the noise exposure can be severely hazardous to your ears. The shots fired have such a potent sound, that hearing them over and over again especially can cause severe damage in fact. Today, we at Shooting Range Industries would like to elaborate on noise exposure at the shooting range.
Double Ear Protection when Shooting
The occupational health limits of 140 dB SPL and the discharge of firearms in an indoor firing range produces peak noise levels that exceed that. As a part of an overall hearing conservation program, NIOSH recommends that workers and shooters who use a firing range as part of their occupation, like law enforcement officers, wear double hearing protection, such as earplugs and earmuffs. To not to create an acoustical leak and degrade the performance of the hearing protectors, special attention must be paid to the use of safety glasses under earmuffs.
Signs of Ear Damage from Loud Noise
The following can be the result of exposure to high levels of noise:
– Tinnitus (the ringing in the ear, which can be permanent)
– High blood pressure
– Hearing loss
– Gastro-intestinal problems
– Chronic fatigue
Whether you there to hone abilities for your career, for your competitive sports, or for recreational purposes, when you spend time on the range to sharpen your shooting skills you want to make sure you are covering your ears to protect your hearing. When you practice on the range, the eye and ear protection is an essential asset to have with you.
Shooting Ear Protection
Ears are just as important as your eye protection. A typical shotgun, when firing a standard load, generates about 140 dB of noise, and this noise is enough to permanently cause instant hearing damage. There are a few primary ways that gunfire can damage hearing:
1) Sound intensity – how loud or soft the report is, usually measured in decibels- dB (traditionally).
2) Duration – length of time ears are exposed to the report.
3) Sound frequency – on how high or low the report is – measured in Hertz.
With a few considerations when you are looking for quality ear protection comfort and safe shooting are the priority. One of the important aspects for ear protection is the NRR, or noise reduction rating factor. To reduce the noise by a minimum of 20 dB but more is better, the earmuffs or plugs need to be properly fitted in order. Since the barrel is pointed away and noise is directed down range, guns can generate 140dB of noise or more, not all of it is heard by the shooter. Ear wear with a 30 dB-reduction puts the shooter in a safe range with that said. Deciding what type of ear protection is right for you, it comes to a matter of preference as well. From smaller, lightweight and inexpensive, you have many options though they are likely not to fit securely over-the-ear style. During recoil movement, they can easily fall off the ear and these results are not ideal. With in-ear hearing protection, some shooter that tend to shoot the louder guns opt to double the ear protection, along with standard earmuffs to ensure safe a comfortable shooting at all times.