Roger’s warning shot this shooting season
October 28, 2016
A company director diagnosed with tinnitus after nearly 50 years of loud noise exposure is warning shooting enthusiasts to protect their ears this season – or risk permanently damaging their hearing.
Roger King holds a fire arms license, is a member of two target shooting clubs, takes part in clay shooting competitions and has previously participated in six full days of game shooting per season.
But the 65-year-old only began to use ear defenders in recent years, despite being a regular user of 12 bore shot guns and full bore and rim fire rifles. These weapons can emulate noise of up to 156 decibels, far higher than the 120 decibels level research has deemed safe.
At least 600,000 people in the UK shoot game. But those who do not use ear protection often experience acoustic trauma, which can lead to a degree of hearing loss and, in turn, tinnitus.
Roger is just one of more than 63,000 residents in Oxfordshire living with tinnitus.
He became aware of a “flatness in my hearing along with a gentle buzzing in my ears”, and, after being diagnosed with some gradual loss of hearing and significant tinnitus, Roger feared he may have to give up shooting.
But thanks to his assessment
at our Harley Street clinic in London he was able to explore creative ways to continue with his favourite sport thanks to noise-reducing adaptations and products.
He said: “The consultation made me realise my hearing loss and tinnitus would only worsen if untreated, so Tinnitus Desensitisation Therapy has helped bring my tinnitus under control.
“Sound moderators have been fitted into all of my guns, and I have also begun using electronic sound-sensing moulded CENS ear plugs along with Peltor electronic defenders which I wear over my earplugs.
“These changes have reduced rifle fire noise to between 60 and 80 decibels and I enjoy my sport just as much as before because I am now aware of the dangers of loud noise exposure.
“I’d warn all shooters not to delay and to start using ear protection immediately this season – and every shooting season.”
Roger’s treating audiologist Mark Williams said: “The most worrying aspect of noise-induced hearing loss from recreational activities like shooting is that the damage to the hearing organ is permanent, with no prospect of repair.
“The good news is there are different ways shooters can defend their ears.”
If you are interested in further information about an assessment appointment at any one of our ten locations, please call us on 0203 597 4988 or contact us via our online form
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