Close to 10 percent of the population has hearing loss problems that affect their understanding of normal speech. The main cause of this condition is people exposed to high noise. It so happens that shooting firearms remains a highly popular activity capable of subjecting its participants to intense noise levels that result in permanent hear loss. This remains the case until proper precautions are effectively employed.
So just how loud is a gunshot sound?
The sound emitted from a firearm depends on the type of gun and your proximity to it during impact. The ammunition used also does contribute. If we are to gauge the report from rifles the sound would depend on the frequency, duration, and intensity. The metric used when measuring sound is decibels and its increase is expressed in logarithmic scales. The soft sound this barely audible is represented by zero db. To gauge how loud a sound can be we make some comparisons. For instance, normal conversations are around 60 db. Jet engine noise is at 140 db. The blasting noise emitted from a rocket blasting on its launching pad is at 180 db. Taking this perspective and gauge meter into the scale, when a gun goes off, around 140 dB or more strikes your eardrums. It might seem impractical how a gunshot sound can be equally compared to that from a jet engine. However, we should not confuse sound duration with intensity. The gunshot sound lasts for a split-second. With that being said it is imperative that gun enthusiast has the best ear protection for shooting when gun sporting.
What intensity of sound can the ear withstand?
The human ear is made of organic tissue which has its limits. The eardrum cannot withstand exposure to high sound for a long time frame. For instance, eight continuous hours of sound above 85 dB results into permanent hear loss. Any spike above 130 dB and the effects are permanent. This means every shot fired can potentially damage your ears when t is fired within close range. Here are some important points to remember.
The tissues within the human body that respond to duress in a similar manner. Additionally, permanent damage to the ear goes unrecognized due to their cumulative mature. The human body has a wide variety of systems with specialized tissues that perform different tasks. For instance, muscle tissue strengthens after undergoing strain. The first attempt made at rock climbing, ballroom dancing or surfing you will experience a lot of strain as your muscles get sore and tired fast. Eventually, after continuous practice, you will be able to do those activities much more comfortably as the muscles adapt and strengthen.
Specialized nervous tissue functions – including that of hearing – do not respond to abuse by adaptation or rebuilding their defenses. Instead, their functionality is affected for the rest of an individual’s life. This is why most professional boxers who were amazing during their career prime are left suffering from brain damage towards the end of their careers. At this point, they are forced to toughen their muscles to Olympic competition levels. Unfortunately, the brain slamming into the back of their skull with every blow brings about irreparable harm. Similarly, the ear does not toughen when exposed to excessive noise. Thus, it is important to protect your ears from too much noise around.