Reader John O'Connor Warns about Hearing Loss During Hunting Season

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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!

Choosing Hearing Protection Before Hunting Living with severe hearing loss can be difficult for both you and your loved ones.  Even though hunting may seem like a fun hobby, there are many safety measures that you need to take in order to be a responsible huntsman.  Protecting your hearing and the hearing of your group members is key to having a safe and fun trip.  There are a few ways that hunting can affect your hearing and why you should prevent hearing loss earlier on.

My father who has been into hunting for many years often times when out in the woods or practicing at the shooting range, neglected his hearing protection.  Now in his late 70's he is affected severely by hearing loss.  After meeting with his doctors he came to realize that hunting has taken a major toll on his hearing health.  Although no the only cause, it has played a major role in damaging his eardrums.  To this day he still likes to get out in the field and head to the shooting range but always remembers to have his hearing aids in and to bring the proper protection with him.  



Most hunters use guns to catch their game.  Even if you don't use a gun, you may use a high-pitched whistle to call animals to you.  All of these noises, especially the gunfire, can do massive amounts of damage to your hearing.  Just like you would wear goggles and bundle up in warm clothes, you also need to bring along hearing protection with you.  Be sure to bring enough hearing protection so that group members can also make use of what you have brought along on the excursion.

When using ear protection, it is best that you make use of it while you are hunting.  Do not rely solely on inserting your earplugs or putting on your headphones when you are on an outpost.  You never know when you will see an animal and shoot at it.  It is best to protect your hearing the minute you head into the woods so that you are constantly prepared.  You will find that this makes things easier for you when it comes to setting up in an outpost and not having to worry about using your ear protection.

The choice of hearing protection that you will use is completely up to you.  There are two major types of ear protection that you should consider buying for yourself.  You can buy earplugs from most pharmaceutical stores for a very cheap price.  These go right into the ear canal and will prevent extra noise from reaching the eardrum.  You may find that these are a little uncomfortable for you to wear, so your other option would be to use headphones that are specifically made to reduce noise.  Most of these products can be found in sporting goods stores or stores that also sell guns and ammunition.

There should never be an excuse for not using hearing protection.  It is absolutely vital that you protect your hearing whenever you go out hunting for food or pleasure.  With the price of ear protection, you should have no problem making use of these products and having enough earplugs leftover to share with group members who are joining you on the excursion.  You can also find out more information by talking to an employee in a local sporting goods store to see what they recommend when it comes to using hearing protection while you are hunting.

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