Recreational noise induced hearing loss

Recreational noise induced hearing loss is hearing loss that is caused by loud sound. Recreational refers to the conditions and circumstances under which it occurs.

When it occurs in the workplace it is referred to as occupational hearing loss. Recreational means that it is done out of choice, usually during leisure time.

Recreational noise induced hearing loss
Shooting and hunting can cause permanent hearing loss

Two main causes of recreational noise induced hearing loss include hunting and shooting.

It is now the season where many fathers attempt to make men out of their boys (or sometimes girls) in the hunting field. The mere act of hunting often leads to heated debate. Allowing your child to shoot a firearm without hearing protection is straightforward stupid. Permanent hearing loss can occur, even after only one incident. Not protecting your child’s ears should be regarded as child neglect!

Sport and clay pigeon shooting are hobbies that put one at risk for permanent hearing loss. The tinnitus (noise in the ears) that follows immediately after a period of shooting indicates that the hair cells in the cochlea of the ears are taking strain.

A temporary feeling of blockage and reduction of hearing is referred to as a temporary threshold shift (TTS). It usually recovers after a few days. When noise trauma is severe it can cause an immediate permanent threshold shift (PTS). This does not recover. Over time with repeated exposure, TTS inevitably leads to PTS. The threshold shift can be measured in decibels. It is important to note that if you would like to access your hearing that it is not done for a few days immediately after shooting. The TTS can influence the result.

The risk of noise induced hearing loss after hunting and shooting cannot be stressed enough. Ear protection including earplugs, headphones and earmuffs should be used at all times.

It is advisable to visit a trained audiologist in order to obtain more information on the different customized hearing protection options available on the market.

Contact your nearest trained audiologist for customised ear protection.