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Shooting induced hearing loss

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by melbo, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    There have been a couple of times in my life where I knew I had harmed my ears after shooting firearms in unplanned situations. Ear protection was worn 99% of the time I've shot recreationally. I also spent a decade in construction working around circular saws and chainsaws without any ear protection.

    I finally realized that I lean in when my wife speaks to me and that I often mis-hear words unless I'm looking at the person. Time for a trip to an Audiologist

    Here's what we came up with. My hearing in the higher frequencies is nearly gone and she told me this is the classic 'ski slope' graph she sees in heavy shooters. Not exactly sure what I'm going to do now but at least my suspicions were confirmed. Might consider some super bionic hearing aids if I can come up with $5 or 6K to do so. Kinda wondering if I can sue the Fed for the NFA restricting my access to suppressors until I was of age ;)

    Screenshot from 2012-12-23 19:07:40.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Looks like mine, MELBO, except mine starts down at 1.5 KHz, and is 15 db lower... Just call "Me" deef......
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    tinnitus yet?
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Don't think so although if I concentrate on making my ears ring, they will.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Oh, Yea, especially at night.... Ring ring....

    Do you have a set of those noise canceling Muffs? They really do work...
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    LOL .... join the club. The situation with hi frequency loss is that low frquency backgound noise severely compounds the problem as it masks what you can hear. The reason you understand when looking at people is you partially lip read the words that confuse you. If a person was to say, "rat", but not be looking at you, you only hear "at", and then either you are totally confused because you know "at" does not fit where it was used, so you try to fill in the blanks mentally. This sometimes works, but also can cause serious misunderstandings, as the actual word may be (mat, cat, bat, sat, fat, that, fat, gat, hat, pat, ...... ) see the problem. My mind works fast enough that I could do great at Wheel of Fortune, cross words, crypto quotes etc. I have been filling in the blanks for so long it is just common nature. I denied the problem for years, but am now fully aware and informed on it. It also causes me to talk louder than most people around me which also gets misconstrued as arogance or anger or somethink else. Since you are young (compared to me) and are more likely to be required to interface with more people on a daily basis who do not need to misinterpret your confused looks, loud talking or failure to understand what they are actually saying, I would advise, don't be like me ..... get a hearing aid! .... SOON
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    One time I took my wife to be to an indoor range. The only plugs I had with me were those old orange rubber and stainless ones with the little ball bearing that was supposed to move back and forth. They must have failed because later that night and into the next 2 days, I couldn't hear anything. We shot around 300 rounds of 9mm and .45.

    I also remember a few ad hoc shooting sessions where I thought that stuffing a couple of spent .223 shells in my ears would help. Not so.

    I wouldn't have guessed that I'd face this at 40 but if I look back at what I did to my ears, I shouldn't be surprised.
    Tannerite, .50 BMGs, 12 Guages, Improvised explosives as a youngster, heavy equipment, hanging out with the well drillers at the running rig about 30 times, et cetera.
  8. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Yes, am looking into the best I can find and vanity be darned. I still need to function so want this corrected however I best can.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    UGRev likes this.
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I looked at the Game Ears a number of years ago before I had this problem. I've played with some other inexpensive amplifiers over the past year but they just boost the volume across all the freq ranges. What I need is that 2K + brought up without the mid and low level sounds which seems to take $2500 to $3000 per ear. My insurance will cover $1k per ear.

    Unfortunately for my wife, life is in my normal hearing but her voice is in the upper freqs...
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Some of the Walker Games ears can be set for different ranges. And they cut off and block sudden noises. They are tune-able. Good luck with what ever your choice will be.
    melbo likes this.
  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    check the high-end funeral homes; dead folks don't need them any more.
    oldawg and Clyde like this.
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Believe it or not, when personal possessions, like rings, watches, gold teeth, jewelry and hearing aids go missing at funeral homes, people go to jail. All of my inlaws are cops. I know.
    if you want used, try the pawn shops, and often people will turn in a hearing aid when they get a new one. I got two for hunting that way, but the earbud is custom made for each person's ear shape (molded) so they kept those, making what I got useless to me. If you want to get the buds made, send me an address, and I will see if I can find them and send them to you.
  14. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    get them at the end of year with 30 days same as cash... bill each year 1 k and then youn have 1 hearing aid... wait 2 years and repeat....;)
  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Good place for low mileage pacemakers too! :eek:
    oldawg likes this.
  16. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    In the Australian Army, military industrial deafness is known as gunner ear...Not quite sure whether 'tis because of clapped out hearing or being f***ed in the head! :oops:

    Edit: It's remarkable how adept one becomes at lip reading when in an environment with loud ambient noise, like bars etc I also tend to move in front of folk I'm talking to so I can red their facial expression.
  17. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Count me in the club. I've had two sets of hearing aids, but all they did for me was amplify everything, which was more than a little annoying. I ended up not using them any more. Had tinnitus since I was in the military and fired guns without ear protection. I think they now require some form of ear protection, but back then they didn't.

    I mostly just ignore what people around me are talking about. Wife can be on the phone in the next room and she talks so loud on the phone I can hear her. She comes in the room I'm in and tries to talk to me and half the time I can't hear what she is saying..... and the other half of the time I don't want to hear what she says! :blah:
    toydoc and chelloveck like this.
  18. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Wait, the ringing will go to 24hrs a day, then switch over to a sort of industrial roar. One of my ears is shot and the other hopefully will hang on a more years.
    oldawg and melbo like this.
  19. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Melbo, whatever it takes see an audiologist? now. It can get so bad that it will effect even your balance. Quigley isn't kidding about how bad it can get.
  20. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I've had tinnitus for more than 40 years. Some days it's less intrusive than others, some days moreso. If I can avoid exposure to loud or continuous noise, it lessens; after a day trap shooting or hours on the road, it's worse. Oddly, it is always just a tad above the background noise, so I'm constantly aware that it's there, even tho' I can hear thru it. In the early years of shooting, I didn't use hearing protection, didn't know about the damage it could cause. Later, literally worked and slept with engines and turbines running nearby. Then came the construction machinery, and wind noise in over the road and airline travels.

    Once upon a time when I was still in school the local health department did some testing, I could hear from around 20 cps to over 20K. Them days is long gone, but I've informally tested from around 500 to 10K. I do NOT need high fidelity sound systems.

    Just for s&g, did some informal testing on myself. Picked out 6 different tones from the noise. It isn't white noise, at least not for me, it's blended tones.

    Based on my experience, staying clear of noise for a while (undefined) some of the loss will come back. Not all, by any means, but maybe enough to function without hearing aids. Years ago, I had a squeeky voiced lady friend that had to deliberately change her natural squeeks to something I could hear. Last time we spoke, I didn't have a problem hearing her at all. Then again, age may have loosened up her vocal cords and lowered the tones --

    I'll never again knowingly go into a high noise area without hearing protection. (Noise blanking head sets work very well at the range.) Eyesight is the only sense I value more than hearing. But since I've worn glasses since I was two y.o., eye protection is a non issue as long as I have the shatter proof lense materials that I always get.
    chelloveck likes this.
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