Sign up for Gun Talk News
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Icon Rounded Closed - BRIX Templates

'Permanent Hearing Loss in One Shot'

December 20, 2023
Gun Talk Staff
Permanent Hearing Loss in One Shot – Recently on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio

Robert, LA – Can one shot from a gun cause irreputable harm to your hearing?  Recently, on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk® Radio, Brent called in during hour three to explain how he damaged his hearing in one shot. This is an all-to-often occurrence that many shooters encounter, and it points out the critical need for all shooters to protect their hearing.

Tom Gresham posed the question earlier in the nationally-syndicated radio show about whether shooters listen to music while shooting their firearms or any other activities. Tom found that music typically causes a distraction when handling a serious task.

Brent dialed in to voice his concern about shooting firearms without hearing protection. A single shot from a 454 Casull was his hearing’s undoing. Now, Brent is left with a lifetime of buzzing in his ears.

Hearing damage happens quickly and isn’t something we gain back with time. Shooting guns without hearing protection can pose several significant risks to auditory health due to the high decibel levels of gunshots. A gunshot typically emits a sound exceeding 140 decibels, which is far above the 85-decibel level at which prolonged exposure can lead to hearing damage. Even a single exposure to such loud noise can cause immediate and irreversible damage to the inner ear, leading to permanent hearing loss.

Brent has constant crickets in his ears, which is common when shooting without hearing protection. This is known as Tinnitus. This condition is characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears, which can occur after exposure to loud noises like gunshots. Tinnitus can be temporary or chronic, and in some cases, it can be severely debilitating. And, in Brent’s case a problem not only to him but those around him as well.

Other common problems with shooting firearms without hearing protection include:

  1. Acoustic Trauma: This term refers to injury to the inner ear structures due to sudden, extremely loud noises. Acoustic trauma can result in both temporary and permanent hearing loss, depending on the intensity and duration of the exposure.
  2. Hyperacusis: This is an increased sensitivity to everyday sounds that are not typically perceived as loud. Exposure to loud noises such as gunshots can sometimes lead to this condition, making normal environments uncomfortably or painfully loud.
  3. Psychological Effects: Apart from physical hearing damage, exposure to loud gunshots without protection can also lead to anxiety, stress, and a fear of loud noises. This could potentially lead to avoidance behaviors or phobias related to loud environments.
  4. Gradual Hearing Degradation: Repeated exposure to loud gunshots without adequate protection can lead to a gradual decline in hearing ability over time. This might not be immediately noticeable but can result in significant hearing impairment in the long term.

To mitigate these risks, it is highly recommended to use hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs specifically designed for shooting. These protective devices reduce the intensity of the sound reaching the eardrum and help preserve hearing health. Beware this holiday season while out enjoying a family range day. Protect those around you and yourself by wearing hearing protection for each shot.

As always, call 866-TALK-GUN with your comments, questions, and range reports.

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk is proudly supported by 4 Patriots, Colt, Hodgdon Powder, HSM Ammunition, Mossberg, POF USA, Range Ready Studios, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Silencer Central, Stag Arms and Timney Triggers.

In its 28th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham's Gun Talk® radio show airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern, and runs on more than 270 stations every week. Listen on a radio station near you ( or via live streaming (http:/ All Gun Talk shows can also be downloaded as podcasts at, Apple iTunes, and i-Heart radio, or through one of the available Apps: GunDealio on iPhone, GunDealio on Android, and the Gun Talk App on Stitcher. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube, (, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and

Stream our content anywhere.

Sign up for Gun Talk SMS Alerts!
Icon Rounded Closed - BRIX Templates