Permanent hearing loss happens gradually with each handgun blast. Choose an ear protection device with a high Noise Reduction Rating (NRR).
- Modern amplified earmuffs reduce dangerous gunshot noises but let you still hear “safe sounds” so that you can carry on a conversation.
- Non-amplified earmuffs are less expensive but still offer good noise reduction ratings.
- Adjustable earplugs are an inexpensive option and provide adequate protection.
- Disposable foam earplugs provide the least protection but are better than having no ear protection.
Protecting Children and Pets
To help protect children and pets against hearing loss, follow these suggestions.
- When selecting hearing protection for children, make sure it fits. Earmuffs designed for adults are unlikely to keep out damaging levels of noise if worn by children.
- If you take a dog to the shooting range, protect its hearing by keeping it at least 30 yards away from the noise of guns firing.