Many shooters don’t think about their hearing health until it becomes a serious issue. Some have learned this lesson through personal experience, yet many recreational shooters and a significant number of hunters continue to put their hearing at risk every time they shoot.

“Shooter’s Ear” is a type of hearing loss where shooters typically have worse hearing in their non-dominant ear—left for right-handed shooters and right for left-handed shooters. This happens because of something called “head shadow”- where the tilt of the shooter’s head against the firearm stock shields their dominant ear from the full impact of the gunshot blast.

“Shooter’s Ear” can happen when someone who shoots guns does not protect their hearing. Being exposed to a gun’s loudness without protection can gradually damage the fragile parts in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss or other problems like tinnitus.

To cut down the risk of “Shooter’s Ear,” shooters need to consistently use gear such as earplugs or earmuffs. This gear reduces the gunfire noise in the ears and causing permanent damage. Whether shooting for recreation or as part of a job, anyone who regularly handles firearms should wear protective ear gear.

But what kind should you wear? Give us call here at Lemme Audiology (814) 941-7770 to talk to one of our Doctors of Audiology. Here, we can guide you into what ear gear would be best for you.

– Kristin Seiler, Practice Representative

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