Hearing Protection

This is a discussion on Hearing Protection within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I like electronic muffs and plugs. I work at a covered outdoor range and can really tell the difference btwn plugs and no plugs when ...

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Thread: Hearing Protection

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I like electronic muffs and plugs. I work at a covered outdoor range and can really tell the difference btwn plugs and no plugs when wearing muffs. The electronic versions also let you hear range commands better and, possibly, if the people next to you are acting like idiots. Some muffs are designed better for rifle shooting like the Peltor behind the neck muffs or the Howard Leight Impact Sports, but they don't protect as well as full muffs. I know a LEO firearms instructors that started out with the thin muffs, but switched b/c he started to develop tinnitus. If all you shoot is handguns, Harbor Freight has some $20 full size muffs that work well, just a bit longer delay before the microphone turns back on.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimtem View Post
    I use this combo. Do you think its good enough. 4$ ear plugs with 10$ muffs. Both off ebay.
    Poly urethane disposable ear plugs are rated at about 18-22 NRR.

    The $10.00 muffs may have an NRR of 20-22 NRR under ideal lab conditions. I do not feel this it adequate ear protection for hunting shooting and certainly not for indoor range shooting.

    Normal conversation is about 60 decibels. You can experience a decibel level of up to 140 with a gunshot. This is higher than standing next to a jet at takeoff. Exposure to a decibel level over 115 for any length of time can permanently damage your ears.

    NRR is a "C" rated scale mandated by OSHA for workplaces in the U.S.A., but to
    accurately determine the effects on human hearing, an "A" weighted scale should be
    used. To convert from the "C" scale to the "A" scale, just subtract 7. So, to
    determine the results to expect from an ear plug, first subtract 7 from the NRR,
    then subtract that result from the dBA (average noise level from which you need
    protection). For example the noise of a chain saw at 120 dBA would be reduced to
    98 dBA by an NRR 29 plug (120-(29-7)=98), which is still moderately dangerous. A
    better choice would be an NRR 33 plug which would reduce the noise level to a safer
    94 dBA (120-(33-7)=94).

    The duration of the sound exposure is also important. The shorter the time you are
    exposed, the less the danger to your hearing. Anything over 115 DB can permanently damage inner ear nerves. No hearing aid can help nerve damage. It amounts to a loss of hearing clarity. Hearing aids may make things louder but will not improve hearing recognition.

    The highest rated ear plug in the market has a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 33.
    The only way you can get higher than NRR 33 is by using ear muffs and ear plugs at the same time, and only then can
    you achieve an NRR of 34 or greater. An NRR of 34 requires NRR 20 ear muffs worn over NRR 33 ear plugs. You can
    get to an NRR of 36, but that requires the highest rated muff (NRR 30 or 31) and the highest rated plug (NRR 33) to
    be worn at the same time.

    Please get some adequate hearing protection.

    I use Peltor Combat ear screws (reusable) and Peltor Tactical Pro Muffs for a combined NRR of 33-34.

    SIG
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
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  4. #33
    Member Array Handgunner's Avatar
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    Replaced ear protection

    I initially purchased a pair of S&W earmuffs from my local gunstore and some cheapo earplugs from Home Depot. However I never felt these were adequate and as I researched the topic I found there were better alternatives and plenty of caution from forum members regarding this issue. Today I use moldable earplugs from Beneficial Products (NNR 34) and some big, fat Peltor Optime 105 earmuffs (NNR 30). I am always a little self conscious when I see smaller earmuffs that other shooters are using but then I remember why I bought products that were considered (advertised) as giving the highest protection in the first place.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Amazingly enough, with the constant ringing driving me bonkers, I only have mild hearing loss. The plugs I use are ribbed rubber with progressively larger ribs. I read somewhere that the percussion can still penetrate through the rubber and cause issues. Any thoughts on that or should I buy a pair of muffs also?
    It sounds as though you have Tinnitus. This condition is almost always associated with hearing loss. The ringing, buzzing, hissing is actually coming from your brain. It might be a good idea to see an ENT specialist. Since the condition is not well understood, the doctor may be able to offer some relief but there is no cure. Normally, the doctor will order an MRI to make sure nothing unusual is going on in the brain.

    Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol can make the condition seem worse. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen this is also known to intensify the condition.

    I am not a doctor. Seek professional help for this very real problem that doctors are finally beginning to recognize.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
    - Zen Saying

  6. #35
    Member Array Charlie8D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamlet View Post
    From medical site:

    There is a chart enclosed with common sounds, critical level (85 dbl) and decibel level of gun shots - beating noise from commercial jet heard at 100'! Way over 85.

    IF YOU SUFFER SUDDEN HEARING LOSS FROM UNPROTECTED GUN SHOT SOUND; ACOUSTIC TRAUMA; IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE PROPER MEDICAL SPECIALIST. THERE ARE TREATMENTS FOR SUCH CATASTROPHIC SUDDEN LOSS THAT CAN SAVE HEARING IF INITIATED FAST.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dangerous Decibels focuses on noise-induced hearing loss.

    Decibel ThermometerNoise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

    Of the roughly 40 million Americans suffering from hearing loss, 10 million can be attributed to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL can be caused by a one-time exposure to loud sound as well as by repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time. Damage happens to the microscopic hair cells found inside the cochlea. These cells respond to mechanical sound vibrations by sending an electrical signal to the auditory nerve. Different groups of hair cells are responsible for different frequencies (rate of vibrations). The healthy human ear can hear frequencies ranging from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz. Over time, the hair cell's hair-like stereocilia may get damaged or broken. If enough of them are damaged, hearing loss results. The high frequency area of the cochlea is often damaged by loud sound.

    Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). Like a temperature scale, the decibel scale goes below zero. The average person can hear sounds down to about 0 dB, the level of rustling leaves. Some people with very good hearing can hear sounds down to -15 dB. If a sound reaches 85 dB or stronger, it can cause permanent damage to your hearing. The amount of time you listen to a sound affects how much damage it will cause. The quieter the sound, the longer you can listen to it safely. If the sound is very quiet, it will not cause damage even if you listen to it for a very long time; however, exposure to some common sounds can cause permanent damage. With extended exposure, noises that reach a decibel level of 85 can cause permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss. Many common sounds may be louder than you think…

    * A typical conversation occurs at 60 dB - not loud enough to cause damage.
    * A bulldozer that is idling (note that this is idling, not actively bulldozing) is loud enough at 85 dB that it can cause permanent damage after only 1 work day (8 hours).
    * When listening to music on earphones at a standard volume level 5, the sound generated reaches a level of 100 dB, loud enough to cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes per day!
    * A clap of thunder from a nearby storm (120 dB) or a gunshot (140-190 dB, depending on weapon), can both cause immediate damage.

    In fact, noise is probably the most common occupational hazard facing people today. It is estimated that as many as 30 million Americans are exposed to potentially harmful sounds at work. Even outside of work, many people participate in recreational activities that can produce harmful noise (musical concerts, use of power tools, etc.). Sixty million Americans own firearms, and many people do not use appropriate hearing protection devices."
    Yep, " Acoustic trauma " was my diagnosis. The V.A. asked me why I didn't wear ear plugs in Vietnam. I told them it was hard to stop in the middle of a firefight, to look for them ! None of us had any, or were issued any.

  7. #36
    Member Array enk5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    What did he say?

    He he, I use Peltor electronic muffs!

    I got a pair for Christmas. I love them.

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGP250 View Post
    It sounds as though you have Tinnitus. This condition is almost always associated with hearing loss. The ringing, buzzing, hissing is actually coming from your brain. It might be a good idea to see an ENT specialist. Normally, they will order an MRI to make sure nothing is going on in the brain.

    Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are thought to be a cause and should be reduced or abstained from. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.

    I am not a doctor. Seek professional help for this very real condition.
    Mt tinnitus started with a severe double ear infection. I've talked with my physician about it, but the hearing loss itself isn't severe. My hearing is worse in my left ear. The day after a good party, the ringing is worse, so alcohol must affect it. I also lost all feeling in the lower half of my face in 1988 after jaw surgery. Can't feel lower lip, teeth, gums, chin, etc. I have 7 titanium screws holding it together. About once or twice a year, it tingles and gets hot with strange twinges. It lasts a few days and then back to totally numb.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie8D View Post
    Yep, " Acoustic trauma " was my diagnosis. The V.A. asked me why I didn't wear ear plugs in Vietnam. I told them it was hard to stop in the middle of a firefight, to look for them ! None of us had any, or were issued any.
    Two of my nephews are both in the army one is a ranger and the other is a Major. I showed the officer the Peltor ear screws. He said, yeah, we are starting to issue those now to some.

    Go figure.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
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  10. #39
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Just an addendum to this thread...

    You may wish to keep a pair of noise cancelling muffs near your bed. If you need to investigate noises in the house (with your gun), slip them on first. You'll hear everything that's going on, and if you should have to use your gun, you at least won't damage your hearing.

    One other point; if you are defending a family member in your room, tell them to hold their ears shut as well.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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  11. #40
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    You may wish to keep a pair of noise cancelling muffs near your bed. If you need to investigate noises in the house (with your gun), slip them on first. You'll hear everything that's going on, and if you should have to use your gun, you at least won't damage your hearing.
    That's a really good idea.

  12. #41
    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    A constant high pitched "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" like a beep with no beginning or end.
    I've got that right now. I used to listen to a lot of loud stereo music, but a few years back did it for me. I was celebrating July 4th at a friends with $1000 worth of fireworks, but before we set those off we shot his Glock 45 outside with no protection. Couldnt hear very well for a couple days. One of my dumber moments in life to say the least.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    Just an addendum to this thread...

    You may wish to keep a pair of noise cancelling muffs near your bed. If you need to investigate noises in the house (with your gun), slip them on first. You'll hear everything that's going on, and if you should have to use your gun, you at least won't damage your hearing.

    One other point; if you are defending a family member in your room, tell them to hold their ears shut as well.
    Good point. The Peltor combat ear screws for example, have a yellow tip and and green tip. Insert one way and you have passive ear protection. Inserted in the the other end and you have the full protection of this type of hearing protection.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
    - Zen Saying

  14. #43
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    I to have the tinnitus or whatever it's called. Constant ringing, buzzing. I read up on it on the internet and have begun to be able to manage it.

    Mine not from shooting, I do wear ear protection for that. Mine is from being the drummer in a band with a guy who pointed his Fender amp in my direction and wailed on it at Mach 10! After a few hundred hours of that, it's no wonder my hearing suffers.
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  15. #44
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    Hearing Protection

    Quote Originally Posted by das38spl View Post
    Sig....
    Couldn't agree more!!!
    As a former broadcaster (~30 years...) I'm beginning to notice my hearing "going south"; the high frequencies (^~8KHz) just aren't there the way they used to be.....some of this is just the male of the species getting older.....but SOME is due to carelessness in my youth (pre-teen) while shooting off fireworks.....
    Remember..... hearing is like "fast money"....once it's gone.....it's gone for good!! Like the bullet out the muzzle.... there's NO bringing it back!!
    Wear that ear (AND EYE!!!) protection.....and STAY SAFE!!
    Loss of hearing at the upper frequency's of hearing is not terribly unusual after the age of 50-60. It could be hereditary or congenital.

    I'm mostly concerned about new shooters who are ignorant of the damage they can do to themselves by not wearing proper ear protection. Sure loud music and 8,000 HP dragsters taking off can contribute to hearing loss but nothing like a single shot of a large caliber handgun or rifle going off near you that can take out half or more of your hearing in an instant.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
    - Zen Saying

  16. #45
    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    These are the exact same ones i own for shooting. Ironic that i dont even own a Glock anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
    -You don't know what you don't see-

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