My Ears Hurt: All of the Opportunities for Your Hearing to Get Damaged

“Huh? What? Are your ears ringing?”
“You’re talking too loud!”

Our ears are a very small part of our body, and yet they allow us to do so many important things. Even though we have thousand of body parts, we only have six senses, and our ability to hear allows us to do so many things. We can communicate, we can listen to music, we can enjoy nature, and we can hear danger. We can be comforted by noises, we can be alarmed by noises, and we can learn through noises.

With hearing being such an important part of our lives, we must do our best to protect this important sense. Unfortunately, there are often a wide variety of opportunities for our hearing to be damaged. This is especially the case for hunters, or those who are around particularly loud noises on an ongoing basis.

Our ability to hear is fragile. Once an ear drum is damaged, it cannot heal itself to be as good as it was prior to the damage. For those enjoy spending time in the great outdoors there are many dangers to your hearing. Here is a quick breakdown of decibel levels and the damage that can be caused:

  • Gradual hearing loss may occur after prolonged exposure to 90 decibels or above.

  • Exposure to 100 decibels for more than 15 minutes can cause hearing loss.

  • Exposure to 110 decibels for more than a minute can cause permanent hearing loss.

  • At 140 dBA noise causes immediate injury to almost any unprotected ear.

  • There is also the more extreme ‘acoustic trauma’, which is an immediate loss of hearing after a sudden, exceptionally loud noise such as an explosion.

One of the most common dangers that an outdoorsman’s ears are exposed to is the use of firearms. A .22 caliber rifle produces roughly 130 decibels, which is more than enough to cause damage, especially if your ear is being exposed to this level of noise repeatedly.

Lets be real, most hunter or firearm collectors aren’t only shooting .22 caliber rounds. Many other sized rounds register closer to or and exceeding 150 decibels, which is easily enough to cause permanent damage after being exposed one time unprotected.

Other common activities that many of us are involved with that also involve loud and potentially harmful noises are things like concerts, tractors (96 dB), power tools (96 dB), lawn mower (90 db), chainsaw (110 dB), or a hammer drill (113 dB). Even something like listening to music while wearing headphones can be damaging if the volume is turned up too loud!

So the moral of the story comes in two parts: 1) We want you to be aware of what can cause permanent pain and damage to your ears/hearing, and 2) We want you to protect your hearing whenever possible by wearing ear protection, or avoiding the harmful circumstances altogether.

Related posts:

  1. Protecting Your Ears From Noise
  2. How to Still Hear while Wearing Ear Protection when Shooting
  3. Sound Protection and Your Ears
  4. Risks of Not Wearing Ear Protection
  5. Be Your Own Super Hero: Hearing Amplification