Does your hearing protection ensure high quality protection when you need it the most? Hearing Protection is essential to protect your ears from the loud burst of sound that shooting produces as well as prolonged noisy environments. There are a variety of hearing protection options available BUT which one will provide the protection that works best for you?
Understanding Hearing Protection:
A decibel (dB) is the unit used to measure the intensity of sound. A whisper is 15 decibels, normal talking is about 60 decibels, and gunshots can range from 140-190 decibels. It is recommended that people use hearing protection in any activity above 85 decibels on a prolonged basis, like daily exposure to industrial equipment. Hearing loss can occur with an extremely loud burst of sound like a gunshot, or a prolonged noisy environment over a long period of time. OSHA strongly recommends the use of hearing protection.
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is a guideline that indicates the amount of potential protection a hearing protection device will give in a noisy environment. The higher the NRR the greater the noise level is reduced. Typical NRR values for hearing protection range from 22 to approximately 33 decibels. Just like eye protection, hearing protection falls under ANSI standards. Even though a higher NRR is intended to indicate greater noise reduction, NRR can be affected by size, fit and condition, as well as appropriate use.
The key to obtaining maximum benefit with hearing protection is proper fit. The more comfortable the hearing protection is the longer you will wear them. Earplugs can provide a higher NRR than earmuffs. Some shooters find that over a period of time, earmuffs can be uncomfortable, even painful, especially when worn with safety glasses.
Hearing Protection comes in a variety of options!
You can choose from simple disposable foam ear plugs to custom molded hearing protection. Disposable foam earplugs are the least expensive and are great to have in an emergency. You may have problems getting the “one size fits all” foam rolled just right in order to insert in your ear. If they are not inserted correctly to seal deep in the ear canal, the NRR rating will be diminished. Throw foam plugs away after each use.
Custom Molded earplugs are becoming very popular and last for several years! Custom earplugs are molded specifically to fit your ear and are typically made from a silicone product that comes in a variety of colors. Custom molded earplugs are easier to insert, more comfortable and get a more consistent fit, leading to an overall higher protection level. Custom molded earplugs can also reduce the level of certain sounds, like a gun shot, while preserving other sounds, like speech.
Like earplugs, your choice of earmuffs is virtually limitless. Because earmuffs do not plug the ear canal like earplugs, earmuffs offer a lower NRR and are often hard to use with long guns. They still do the job of protecting your hearing while you shoot if used correctly. When considering earmuffs, make sure to pay attention to the comfort, cushion and fit of the headbands.
The bottom line: Do Not Skimp on Safety! When it comes to your hearing, spend extra time considering your options and a few extra dollars on comfortable, quality hearing protection!
TINT the RANGE offers Custom Molded Hearing Protection for men, women & youth! We have comfortable, affordable styles and color options that meet not just shooting, but also personal, sporting and industrial needs! Check out our website www.tinttherange.com or call 412-327-9218 for more information.