Both tinnitus and hearing loss are serious issues for millions of Americans, and noise is a leading cause. For shooters, a single shot without a suppressor can reach levels that create immediate and permanent hearing loss.
Among veterans, tinnitus and hearing loss account for the two most prevalent service-connected disabilities. The costs of treating these conditions are significant and increasing. NIHL is progressive, and combines with age and other factors so that hearing is much worse later in life.
Every shooting range has the polite gentleman shooting the M1 Garand or the 1911 whose hearing is severely diminished. Unfortunately, studies show that hearing loss creates social isolation as well emotional and financial issues.
Recent studies at Johns Hopkins University link hearing loss with an increased risk of dementia. While sound suppressors do not make a firearm “silent,” they drastically reduce the noise they create, and reduce NIHL to the shooter and those around him or her.
The American Suppressor Association (ASA) recently held its awards ceremony to honor the high achievers in the suppressor industry. To get you started, check out six advanced sound suppressors that author Ken Young and the ASA hold in very high regard.