How to keep your ears safe when hunting

The Hunt for Hearing Protection: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Ears Safe

You have a passion for hunting and/or shooting, and we have a passion for hearing. Our two interests come together during National Protect Your Hearing Month, celebrated in October. To keep being a sharp shooter, you have to protect your hearing. Here’s what you need to know about your hearing and protection options as a hunter or shooter, as well as countless options for protection while maintaining your A-game.  

How Can Guns Cause Hearing Loss?

People who use guns are more likely to have hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing impairments than those who do not. Further increasing your risk — or that of bystanders — is the reverberation of a gunshot. Adding a recoil compensator or other modifications can make a firearm louder. The ear that is closest to the muzzle of the firearm can experience more hearing damage. The opposite ear is partially protected by

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Handling earwax safely helps protect your ears.

Earwax Dos & Don’ts. Hint: Hold the Cotton Swabs!

Earwax, that yellowish-brown goo, might inspire an “Ick!” or two, but managing it the right way can make a difference in your hearing health.

Here’s a primer on why you have earwax and what to do about it.

Why is earwax in your ear?

Earwax, or “cerumen,” results from secretions by the ceruminous glands in the outer ear canal. The secretions help lubricate the ear canal and help maintain an acidic environment that curbs harmful bacteria and fungi.

Life without earwax would be a lot less comfortable: It not only helps keep the ear canal clean but prevents dirt and other debris from reaching and potentially damaging the eardrum. In addition, earwax can help keep ears from feeling itchy and dry.

When should earwax be removed?

Normally you needn’t remove earwax; your ears will naturally handle that function by pushing out the excess.

Sometimes the glands may produce more …

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Better Hearing Can Help Your Career

5 Ways Better Hearing Can Help Your Career

More than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem, and another 30 percent suspect they have a problem, but have not sought treatment, according to EPIC’s Listen Hear! survey.

And of those with a suspected hearing loss, nearly all report that this hearing loss impacts them on the job, with complaints ranging from stress due to misunderstanding what was said to pretending to hear well to having trouble over the phone.

A 2011 study by the Better Hearing Institute revealed that hearing loss can pose a significant barrier to productivity, performance, overall career success, lifetime earnings, and household earnings — in fact, it can lead to almost $30,000 in lost income every year. Luckily, treating hearing loss can make a hearing-related income loss negligible, and it can help in other ways that you might not have expected. Take a look at …

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We hear with our brains, not our ears.

Can Music Help You Hear Better?

When we as hearing care providers think about music, generally the detrimental effects come to mind. But Frank Russo, professor of psychology and director of the Science of Music, Auditory Research, and Technology Lab (SMART Lab) is bringing to light possible positive effects. Russo is conducting a study that explores a new way to cope with hearing loss in noisy environments: studying music.

In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Russo says understanding speech in noise is a top complaint among older adults with hearing loss.

“The complaint often is, ‘I hear just fine when I’m speaking to someone one-on-one, but when I’m in a crowded situation — if I’m at a party, if I’m at bus station, if I’m in a mall — speech in noise becomes very problematic,’” he relays.

Why Music

Another article cited by NPR tells us research has …

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Better Health, Better Hearing

You Can Delay Age-Related Hearing Loss

Physical Activity Delays the Onset of Age-Related Hearing Loss

Age-related hearing loss affects almost two-thirds of U.S. adults over the age of 70. It’s a result of natural changes that happen in your inner ear, middle ear, and neural pathways as you age. The loss is gradual and can lead to communication problems, feelings of isolation, and decreased physical function. But results from a recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience suggest that regular exercise can delay age-related hearing loss.

The Study

The researchers compared two groups of mice for 24 months. The experimental group regularly exercised by running on a wheel; the control group did not.

Mice in the exercise group had better hearing after 24 months than did the control group, and the physical findings supported this: For mice in the exercise group, key areas of the inner ear hadn’t broken down as much as the same areas …

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