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Ears ringing...poor protection..recommendations?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by StansCustoms, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Well-Known Member

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    Shot quite bit today...and was planning on shooting more and more as I get equipment lined out and get back in the grove.(...I've been out of the hobby since 1991)

    I have poor hearing because of an artillery accident in Vietnam. I was in Fire Direction Control and was comming out of an underground bunker 10 ft or less from a 105 howitzer muzzle. As I emerged...the gun crew fired the howitzer to test a breach mechanism replacement. FDC is supposed to be the only ones to authorize firing...BUT we wern't!!

    The muzzle blast catapulted me back down the hole I was emerging from...and I was stone deaf for several days. Fortunately my hearing returned...at least some of it. Ever since then, as my hearing improved, I have had what I would describe as a "crickets in the late evening sound" ringing in my ears 24 hours a day. Being a farm boy that wasn't all that bad...spent many an evening at a stock tank listening to the crickets and fishing.

    NOW.....because of poor ear protection/plugs, I guess ??... after shooting most of today, I have a "real loud ringing" in my ears, not subdued like crickets. This IS NOT GOOD...in fact I'm worried that it may not subside...since it's been hours since I finished shooting.

    I can't afford any more hearing loss and need some suggestions on muffs that REALLY work that are somewhat affordable...hopefully not $300/400 dollars. I just don't trust ear plugs after today...sure hope I haven't done more permanent damage at this late date...!!!

    I need some good muffs that will not enterfere with my cheek when mounting the gun...unless there is something better.

    All input appreciated...I'm a little spooked! Can this happen even with good ear protection...like vibration from the cheek bones or something??

    Thanks Stan...
     
  2. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    The best protection one can use is the disposable foam ear plugs with good ear muffs over them. That will give you the highest level of protection available. That said, I use the custom fitted silicone ear plugs. When made right they work nicely. I have small ear canals and can't handle the foam plugs. I also have a hard time shooting comfortably with ear muffs. I too have hearing problems from working around heavy machinery without hearing protection. Never said I was smart. :)
     
  3. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Well-Known Member

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    Grntitan..
    10-4..I can relate to small ear canals. That's the reason most plugs don't work/fit me well either. I have to use the silicone pilable disposable ones you can nead/mold to push down into your ear canals. I thought they would be good till today....they seem to seal well? I guess sealing well isn't all there is to it..

    I think I really need some brand name recommendations for muffs. There are just to many to make a choice with out some first hand knowledge...or recommendations from someone that has or does use them satisfactorily.

    Stan..

    I
     
  4. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    The NRR's speak for them selves. A lot on here will try to convince you to buy a molded set....they are garbage. And there is no such thing as too small of ear canals.....you roll up the foam until it fits, and you can roll it down to a tooth pick if your inclined to.

    Best is 33NNR foam covered by the highest NNR muffs available. Now, if your just making a shooters fashion statement get your self a set of molded ones.
     
  5. SuperMotard

    SuperMotard Member

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    Ill disagree with you there 221 but thanks for trying. If you get the correct molded ear plugs and install them right, read : clean them and make sure they are properly seated, they are far better than any makeshift foam inserts you buy or steal from the gun club shelf. The only note i can make here is that sometimes too much can be a bad thing. Some people that shoot with ear plugs, and sound canceling muffs become unaware of their surroundings like a trapper going to down to adjust or fix a trap. just saying

    respectfully

    TB, The Boy

    Thanks for your service Stans Customs
     
  6. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    StansCustoms , Throw those ear plugs in the trash, that is your problem. They won't seal well. Use foam plugs. There is a wide variety , surely one will work for you. I like the EAR yellow plugs best. Follow the directions and you should be able to roll it to a small enough diameter. I don't think you need to worry about bone conduction. Lots of us have trouble with the molded plugs. With small ear canals, you may too.
     
  7. SuperMotard

    SuperMotard Member

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    maybe i don't have small ear canals, all i know is that with my molded plugs they taper down to my "diameter" to ensure a proper fit if installed right. sometimes i wet them with water or saliva to make them "seal" and make no mistake, you can feel when they're correct and when they are not. but to call them a fashion statement is far from the truth
     
  8. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Well-Known Member

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    I use the soft neadable plugs because I have really small ear canals...and I mean SMALL. The foam plugs are a real pain in the rear to get down in my ears...I don't carehow I pinch hem down or roll them. Unless you've got 30 minutes to fuss with them. After I go thru all that, there is still more audible noise than the ones I use..at least that's the way it seems to me.

    The ones I've been using must not be very good though...because my ears are still ringing as I type this...

    I see some pretty fancy ear muffs here and there...but no one on the forum uses them much I guess. I'd still like the name of a recommended tried and true brand of a muff, if anyone uses then at all...

    I was at a gun show the other day..and a vendor wanted a $125 for some of the molded to fit plugs...but the guy looked like a carnival worker, and I didn't trust his product. Seemed to much $$$ too...but I really don't know what the going price is. Maybe I should have bought some anyway...but you don't know where these guys come from...of if they even use a material that blocks sound, it could be anything. I do remember these plugs didn't have a little tube/hole in them...they were solid rubber or whatever he was making them with.

    Stan...
     
  9. Nutso

    Nutso Member

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    Wear foam or molded ear plugs under muffs. Next, shoot a gun with a long barrel and no porting, avoid semi-atuos as they due to the ejection. Find a soft shooting load. Do not shoot next to those usihg ported barrels. Never shoot your HDCP in front of someone else, always find a squad at the same yardage or shorter than you.

    And wear you plugs all day at the range, even when you are back of the line and not shooting.
     
  10. j2jake

    j2jake Well-Known Member

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    I too have hearing loss due to military service. APC driver, M2 cut loose! Suprise, then many years around high frequency radar. VA issues good aids, go and get some. For shooting I use the electronic ones from ESP. They offer a money back warranty if you don't like them. Check their web site to find a fitter near you. I also have a set of electronic muffs I bought at Academy Sports . Only draw back is in summer I sweat like crazy and they slide around when wet. Hope this helps. Jake
     
  11. shrek

    shrek Active Member

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    As far as over the ear muffs go, here are a couple to consider.

    If you want electronic ones Pro Ears gold are tough to beat

    If you want plain old regular ones I use peltors they come in different styles and NRR ratings up to 33.
     
  12. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

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    Stan if you are really interested in protecting your hearing. Make an appointment with an audiologist and see what he/she tells you and do what he/she recommends

    These people spend years in school learning their trade not just some time at the reading and going to range deciding what they like. I know mine sure knows more about the subject, then the so called experts I see here posting are saying.

    Bob Lawless
     
  13. plux001

    plux001 Member

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    What grntitan said. I have tried everything. My profession requires acute hearing, so I was really nuts about getting this right. Tried the foam, but was very inconsistent in the way I inserted. Tried the muffs, but found while they are good, they really interfered with my gun mount. Finally went to Beltone and had them make a mold. They then custom made a pair that absolutely fit like a glove and provide great protection. No discomfort or ringing after all-day shoots. Liked them so well that I ordered a second pair. Second pair doesn't work worth a damn. May as well use nothing. Go figure. Guess this process is really trial and error for each individual. Also, be aware that with the custom plugs, sometimes they work great until you mount the gun and press your cheek into the stock...then not so good. I think the secret to avoiding this problem is a plug that goes deep enough into the canal. For what it is worth, when my kids shoot, I make them wear inner ear protection AND muffs, or they don't shoot. I allow them to take the muffs off when away from the line, but the inner ear stuff stays in the whole time. They complain that it should be up to them since they are adults, but I claim I can't hear their objections due to poor hearing....

    Paul
     
  14. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Of course 221 always the one to disagree with everyone on every last subject.

    That said, small ear canals can lead to discomfort from the expanding foam ear plugs. They give me a headache and I have also had ear infections develop from them. I clean my silicone molded ear plugs with alcohol and have never had either of the afore mentioned problems. Of course I'm sure the expert will have some answer for that as well.
     
  15. Mark T

    Mark T TS Member

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    Ringing in the ears is a sign of potential hearing loss/damage. Before I would do any more shooting, I would have my hearing checked by a hearing doctor to determine what is going on.

    The best thing for hearing protection is a pair of properly fitted custom molded earplugs. They give the highest noise protection as they do not slip with jaw movement such as talking, calling for targets, swallowing chewing gum, smoking a cig or drinking your favorite adult beverage.

    The NRR is very important. Foam earplugs slip and that is why all professionals know that the true NRR is not what is on the package. This is the maximum NRR under ideal conditions. The true NRR on foam earplugs (one size fits most) is calculated by taking the NRR on the package subtract 7 and dicvide by 2. With custom molded earplugs there is no factoring because they are either in or they are not in and there is no slippage as there is with foam earplugs.

    By adding muff over the top you get an additional 5dB of noise supression.

    As an audiologist and one who fits alot of shooters I have alot of experience with tinnitus, ringing in the ears, and I can honestly say that it is not something to gloss over. Once you hearing is gone it can't be fixed and itis as good as it is ever going to be right this moment.

    Protect what you have while you have it.

    Good luck and good shooting.

    Mark T
     
  16. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    grntitan, must you ankle bite so early in the day....yip,yip,yip. If you have something to offer, then speak up, but your constant, imitation of a pack leader is showing the real you.

    Hark t, where did you come up with that factor drivel????
     
  17. SMOKEIT

    SMOKEIT Well-Known Member

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    Thru several types of abuse thru the years I have Tinnitus. Doc says there is not much you can do about it. To keep it from getting worse I use E.A.R foam and muffs. Good luck--Remember that a 3db change doubles the sound pressure level..I know what a pain in the ass Tinnitus is...SMOKIT
     
  18. StansCustoms

    StansCustoms Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread...all input is really appreciated..

    I've been thru a bunch with the VA over hearing loss and the reason I'm spooked about this increased ringing. I would hate to have to quit shooting before I really get going again... but I've already lost all the hearing I can afford to loose.

    AND...my ears are still ringing this morning...I'm very concerned about that. No more shooting till I get something for better protection. Bummer I hope the ringing slacks up some...I miss my crickets compared to this.

    Mark T...you are an audiologist? That's very helpful here then... I think, what is an audiologist exactly?

    You mentioned fitting a lot of shooters...with hearing protection I assume? If so could you be specific as to what you recommend to your clients...for maximum hearing protection. Molded plugs with the little baffles/holes etc. or not , type of material that best shield sound and compression ...or anything you can offer from a professional perspective...

    Maybe the fitted plugs "all" offer about the same protection if they are molded to fit the ear properly.... (with some type of rubber compound). Maybe its just plugging the hole ...and just that simple.??? Then add muffs for more protection...

    Best regards..Stan Mayfield
     
  19. j2jake

    j2jake Well-Known Member

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    Just to clairfy; I am not by any means an expert. Just a semi deaf guy sharing my experiences.:) Jake
     
  20. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    Stan: very important PM just sent to you.

    1. VA will give you hearing aids.
    2. You have a classic case of Tenitus which about 90 percent of combat Veterans have.
    3. Best Ear protection on the market are Digital mini-canal made by EAR Inc. out of Boulder CO.

    Good luck.

    blade819 (a nearly deaf combat veteran)
     
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