Can You Go Deaf from a Gunshot? (Answered)

can you go deaf from a gunshot

Over the years, guns have interwoven with American life and have become an important part of history.

This weapon is used for a wide range of activities.

From hunting down animals to self-defense and warding off criminals, guns serve important functions.

If you live in or are frequently in an area where there’s continuous exposure to gunshots and would love to know if you can go deaf from a gunshot, this article provides all you need to know.  

It aims to explain whether you can go deaf from a gunshot or not.

But first, let’s discuss how a gun works and the basic types of a gun.

Table of Contents

How a Gun Works

Guns are made from steel and have iron components.

How a gun works depends on the type of gun because different guns have different firing mechanisms.

Generally, when the trigger is pulled, it causes a firing pin to strike the primer, which fires up the gunpowder to generate pressure. The pressure pushes the bullet down the barrel and out of the muzzle.

Related: Can a Disabled Person Get a Gun Permit? (Answered)

Types of Guns

There are various types of guns. Some of the major ones include:

  • Bolt action rifles
  • Short guns
  • Semi-automatic rifles
  • Revolvers
  • Pistols and
  • Semi-action rifles

These are the commonly used types in this part of the world. There are also other types like long guns, assault rifles, and machine guns.

Can a Gunshot Damage Hearing?

can a gunshot damage hearing

Although the impulse noise from a gunshot can be so intense and dangerous to your hearing nerves, a single blast may not cause deafness. But continuous exposure to gunshots can cause deafness. And this is why people who use guns frequently battle hearing impairments.

So, don’t worry if it’s a one-time gun blast you heard because it’s not enough to make you go deaf.

Additionally, the intensity of the gunshot and how close you are to the sound can determine if it will affect your hearing or not.

Gunshots also have other effects that have been discovered over time.

Apart from causing damage to hearings, the noise from gunshots has been linked with other health conditions like high blood pressure, depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, increased heart rate, and isolation.

Related: Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Deaf

How to Prevent Deafness from Gunshots

If you’re usually within the range of frequent gunshots, here are steps to take to prevent damage to your ears. This is important because many sessions of gunshots can cause deafness.

can a single gunshot cause hearing loss

Wear Hearing Protection

One of the best ways to prevent deafness from exposure to gunshots is to wear ear protection at all times. The common ear protection is ear muffs and ears plugs.

However, you’ll also find canal caps and custom reusable earplugs on the market. They come in varying colors and sizes.

Hearing protection is made with formidable materials that can adjust to the shape of your eardrums. So, rest assured that you’ll find one that’s perfect for you.

Make sure to use hearing protection when you’re within a gunshot range. The protections go a long way in helping you escape damage to the ears because of the impulse noise from a gun blast.

Reduce Gun Shot Noise

Faulty guns with unbalanced parts can cause loud gunshots that put your ears at risk of being damaged. The best way is to replace loose or worn-out parts that cause loud noise.

Also, ensure that you service your gun regularly if you use it often for hunting.

You can also use noiseless guns for your expenditures. Although, many people claim that silent guns are not as effective as their noisy counterparts.

Regardless, it is better to use silent guns and save your ears from damage.

Take a Break

Another way to prevent deafness from gunshots is to take breaks to reduce exposure. You can have a hunting schedule to prevent continuous exposure to your ears.

Consider leaving the area for a while if you live in an area where gunshots are incessant.

Try as much as you can to move away from the source of gunshots threatening your ear canals. Remember that the higher the sound intensity and the duration of the gunshot, the higher the risk of becoming deaf.

Avoid Exposure to Gunshots

You can ask someone else to help you out with your hunting and other activities that can expose you to gunshots. It is another great way to prevent hearing damage from gunshots noise.

Related: How a Blind Person Communicates with a Deaf Person

Symptoms of Noise-Induced Deafness

How do you know that you’re battling noise-induced hearing loss? Keep reading to find out the symptoms of hearing loss from gunshots.

  • Distorted or muffled speech
  • Tinnitus
  • Pressure in the ear
  • Inability to hear high-pitched sounds
  • Fullness in the ear

The symptoms mentioned above may last minutes, hours, days, or weeks after gunshot exposure.

Although your hearing may return to normal and you may not feel any hearing impairments or damage, cells in your cochlea may have been destroyed by the gunshot noise. And it’s only a matter of time before you begin to struggle with hearing impairments.

The good news is that hearing loss from gunshots can be managed with hearing aids. But if severely damaged, cochlear implants will be recommended.

Can You Go Deaf from a Gunshot? (Answered)


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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