How hunters can avoid hearing loss

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Hunters often use all five senses while out in the woods, but doctors state there’s one that often gets overlooked.

A local Audiologist said hunting without ear protection is not ideal because all it takes is one incident to damage your ears.

“So as a child hunting with my dad and my brothers, ear protection was not even a thing. Now, it’s kind of trended to where there’s much better ear protection,” Local hunter Tim Grover said.

It was when Grover joined the military that he began to take better care of his hearing.

“I realized that hey I’ve got a lot of guys who are losing their hearing and so I started to try and take it more seriously,” Grover said.

Audiologist Megan Wegher explained what’s common among her hunter patients.

“Often what we see with hunters or those who have experienced noise exposure is a permanent high frequency hearing loss. Oftentimes it’s right around 4,000 hertz and it’s a notch,” Dr. Wegher said.

Dr. Wegher added there are ways to protect your hearing.

“Noise induced hearing loss is preventable. And oftentimes, by the time we see patients, it’s too late. So, you know, grabbing those inserts, putting those inserts in your ears and then wearing the muffs on top is really your best bet,” Dr. Wegher said.

Some hunters argue they need to hear their targets. But digital ear protection bridges the gap between safety and efficiency by muffling the damaging high frequencies while still allowing the hunter to hear softer noises.

“I see a guy pull up and be like ‘I don’t do that’, I’m like man, that’s old school. You don’t know that there’s much better equipment out there now,” Grover said.

“Protecting your hearing is very important because oftentimes when you have the damage in the organ of hearing, or the cochlea due to noise exposure, it’s permanent,” Dr. Wegher said.

Good hearing protection used to be an expensive purchase. But now, according to Grover, you can find digital ear muffs for around $40.

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