Gun Shots and Hearing Damage


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JellyJar
September 12, 2009, 05:30 PM
On 08/29 I started a thread about Home defense and hearing damage. Hearing damage caused by gun shots is a pet peeve of mine. I have always been as careful as possible about sight and hearing protection since I started shooting guns. In fact I often wear foam plugs in addition to hearing muffs even when using my electronic Wolff Ears.

The worst incidence I have ever had involving gun shots hurting my ears was when I was attending a performance of Les Mes several years ago in NYC with my sister :eek: In one scene involving the Paris uprising of 1848 they fired several blanks in the rafters not too far from where I was sitting. My ears did not ring but it was painful. In hindsight I should have reported them to OSHA. I am sure the blanks they were using were way too loud and using them broke many federal and state work rules.

I am very surprised about the lackadaisical attitude that many have expressed in my previous thread about hearing damage. I know that there will not always be time to use hearing protection in an emergency but it can be done in many circumstances.

I am 54 now and still have very good hearing although I can no longer hear the buzz of mosquitoes any more. I understand that is normal for a man my age.

What I would like to hear now ( no pun intended ) are stories about people who have been shooting guns for many years how and what, if any, hearing problems they may have. I especially would like to hear from combat veterans from WWII until now of how, if at all, their combat experiences have hurt their hearing. I want this thread to help teach people how important it is to do what ever can be done to protect their hearing while enjoying all the shooting sports or using guns for protection.

P.S.

A friend of my mothers has two preteen boys that he is now taking deer hunting with him. They are all using a 30-06 rifle and no hearing protection. I think that is child abuse, do you? :confused:

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Mt Shooter
September 12, 2009, 05:53 PM
I am 55, in my younger days we would sight in the hunting rifles (30-06) sometimes with no protection. Sometimes a bit of cotton in the ear but that was about it. I even recall once firing a 357 mag without anything. Hearing loss, yes, constant ringing in the ears, actually more like a tone. But is it from shooting alone? I spent 8 years around jet engines and turning prop's. Ever fire up an air start? Powered by a Detroit twin turbo and will put 60 psi though a 6 inch pipe, makes some jet engines mild. Also years in the truck and automotive repair winding up those takes its toll.

My point is, shooting may add to it but I also wonder how much just living does as well. I don't hear the higher sounds, a female voice for instance, clearly. Sometimes that may not be as bad as it sounds.

cleardiddion
September 12, 2009, 06:35 PM
No offense, but I think you should just calm down.

When I first started off shooting sometimes we'd also only have a bit of cotton and sometimes nothing at all. Sure your ears ring after half a can of Bulgarian x54r but I surely haven't gone deaf.
Did some construction too involving heavy equipment with squat nothing stuff in or around my ears and personally I think that was far worse than a few gun shots.

BillyBothHands
September 12, 2009, 06:45 PM
I usually keep a box of the cheap foam plugs around mainly in case anyone ends up shooting with me that doesn't have any. If you run into them often, buy some and toss them their way including the dad. If he takes offense then oh well. I've actually done this several times in similar situations and haven't had anyone upset about it yet. Most of them got in the habit of using something as well. I think after their first time using them they realized how loud their guns actually were.

oneounceload
September 12, 2009, 06:54 PM
My hearing loss I attribute more to Jimi Hendrix at volume 9 with headphones.....(OK, beer was involved).......I always wear ear protection - at least plugs for shotguns, plugs and muffs for metallic

kdstrick
September 12, 2009, 06:54 PM
Ever been to a concert? Now, that is loud! :what:

In my youth I would shoot thousands of rounds of 22 without any hearing protection. I also dove, duck, deer and turkey hunted without. I've put lots of meat in the freezer and if I could go back in time I'd only change one thing. I wish I'd have worn ear plugs.

My hearing is clearly damaged from thousands and thousands of rounds shot. I wear them now. Sometimes, when hunting there is not time to put them in/on. Waste the time, lose your chance at bagging a nice buck. I'll take the buck. :D

Will one shot hurt your hearing :confused:... maybe, but not enough to notice on a permanent basis. It is the prolonged exposure that does the damage. To be so paranoid about hearing loss, especially in a self defense situation is just plain silly. ;) :)

Shung
September 12, 2009, 06:58 PM
once shot a 5.56mm from a M4 inside a room, without wearing ear protection.. Was painfull for a bit, I did loose a bit of audition for a day or 2, but than I got it back completely..

strangely, worst case i had, was firing a 22 minimag from a supressed AR-15.. something went wrong and the case exploded from the bolt ejection window... I think I got some damages there. for a week or two, took my showers with an ear plug, not to put water inside my ear..

As someone said, concerts are much worse.. I went to ONE in my lifetime.. when I got out, i couldnt hear well for several days.. 1st time, last time..

preachnhunt
September 12, 2009, 07:03 PM
My father in law served in the military some fifty years ago in an artillery battery.They had no hearing protection in those days and thought nothing of it. Now his hearing has ,as a result of his service deteriorated to the point that he is functionally deaf.

He didn't have any symptoms for years, but once he started to notice a loss the decline has been steady. If you like the prospect of spending your golden years in your own private world because you can't follow a conversation,then by all means skip the hearing protection and fire away.

cleardiddion
September 12, 2009, 07:09 PM
Admitedly a few shots from a .22 or 30-06 or whatever doesn't really equate to a battery of 155's going off :p

KenWP
September 12, 2009, 07:16 PM
I wear hearing aids and I wore ear plugs from day one. I worked with huge saws and metal work and of course a lot of guns and I sitill went deaf. Ear plugs are not good enough as the out side of the ear and skull transmit sound also. A freind has a hearing aid that attaches to the back of his head as inside the ear hearing aids don't do enough and he needs extra.
Also the damage dosn't show up for a few years. I also suffer badley from recruitment and the lawn tractor hurts me now. I have to wear protection to do the simplest jobs now. They tried to put my hearing loss on my shooting untill they found out that my left ear was worse then my right. Turns out if you shoot from your left shoulder the right ear should be worse so they lost that one real fast. My last boss tried to fight my hearing loss even thou I worked for him for many many years but the lady just ignored him and went with my prior employer as I actually had a tax return going back over 20 years that said I worked at a certain place and she received it at 8 in the morning and approved it by 10 for my claim.
I am lucky I worked with deaf mutes for years and learned to read lips and didn't really know I had been doing it for years.

jakemccoy
September 12, 2009, 07:18 PM
You're mixing concepts. A first concept is using hearing protection at the range. I'm pretty sure just about every shooter is on board with using hearing protection at the range. I wear plugs and muffs at the range. A second concept is using hearing protection during a home invasion. The other thread covered why many shooters don't think using hearing protection during a home invasion is practical or necessary. It's not a matter of being lackadaisical there.

cleardiddion
September 12, 2009, 07:24 PM
Wow, well said jake couldn't have put it better myself

doc2rn
September 12, 2009, 08:06 PM
Been shootin since I was 9, went through 7 yrs in the military, had a handgrenade go off only feet away. But none of that compared to being inside a UH-53. Give me a saw or mortar goin off anyday. I am not deaf, I use regular ear inserts at the range, but I think you are living in fear of everyday noise. Life is noisey, most NY streets are louder than a .22lr report. Use precaution when u can and dont sweat the rest!
PS the understudy to Jean Valjean in Les Mis was from KS. They where checked inside out for the safety of reports from those blanks by the city. They had to get permits for them. Too many people are too sensative to what others are doing instead of worryin about what they themselves are doing.

JohnBT
September 12, 2009, 09:29 PM
I shot for decades with no hearing protection. Who knew. My grandfather didn't, my father didn't (not in the Army Air Force in WWII or as a state trooper after the war) and I didn't until maybe the '70s when I was 25. My ears ring, my father uses 2 hearing aids and his brother uses them too.

The possibility of shooting inside the house doesn't bother me. What does bother me are the hand dryers in the Virginia rest stops. Seriously, little tile room, lots of noise. Sets my ears to really ringing. I can still hear the 12 speaker XM radio in the car, but... :)

"The XLerator hovers around 90 decibels."

See, the thing is, the rest stops have the machines mounted in PAIRS and they will clear your sinuses and blow the cobwebs out of your ears while they dry your hands.

John

EvanWilliams
September 12, 2009, 09:36 PM
doc2rn. I might could understand Rn2Doc. Doc2Rn. Did you go to nursing school after medical school? Just asking. I am a RN

hso
September 12, 2009, 09:36 PM
In hindsight I should have reported them to OSHA. I am sure the blanks they were using were way too loud and using them broke many federal and state work rules.


OSHA regulates workplaces. The squibs fired would not have violated the workplace rules of 90dBA for an 8 hr time weighted average for the employees of the theater.

Single gunshots can cause permanent hearing damage at the shooter's position. Can, not will. Repeated gunshots will cause damage to the unprotected shooter.

How much? There are a lot of factors that go into whether one or more shots will damage your hearing.

I think that is child abuse, do you?

As a parent who has taught my own children and dozens of others to shoot I advise you to be very careful tossing terms like "child abuse" around. You should understand the term before applying it.

As to anecdotes from former service members, you're much better off looking at the military's websites related to noise exposure and hearing damage. Hearing loss is one of the major sources of disability payments made by the armed services. It is one of the most common "injuries" suffered by soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. Mitigating hearing damage due to small arms, heavy weapons and artillery fire is so important that there is considerable research and effort put into controlling the hazard by the military. Look where the money is being spent and you'll see how serious the problem is.

As to whether an individual has a clue about how much hearing damage has taken place, forget using anecdotes. Hearing damage due to small arms fire is like an embezzler. Little increments of your hearing stolen hear and there eventually adding up to significant loss, but the individual losses were too small to notice until they all added up to something important. Think of it this way, when the little alarm goes off in your head (ringing ears), some of your hearing has been stolen.

For those of you that say, "I couldn't hear too good for a day or two but it all came back", how do you know? Did you have an audiogram after the gunshot? Did you have a baseline audiogram to compare "after" to? It's very easy for us to think our hearing has returned when the measurements say otherwise.

JohnKSa
September 12, 2009, 09:38 PM
Sure your ears ring after half a can of Bulgarian x54r but I surely haven't gone deaf.Just wait. Anytime your ears ring they're telling you permanent damage has taken place. You won't really notice anything until the loss becomes fairly severe unless you go have your hearing tested.

John Parker
September 12, 2009, 09:49 PM
I am very surprised about the lackadaisical attitude that many have expressed in my previous thread about hearing damage.
It wasn't lackadaisical, it just differed from your opinion. I don't know if you expected the masses to fall down and worship at your feet, but people expressed differing opinions both in support and opposition to your statement. The general consensus seemed to be that having ear protection as you suggested was fine and if you had time to put it on, great. Although I didn't mention it before, it made me realize that having a set of muffs by the bed really wouldn't hurt anything. But future hearing loss is a secondary concern to an immediate, physical threat.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, I always carried a set of earplugs on my person when leaving the base, but in a contact situation, getting them into my ears was about the 30th thing down my list to do.

.38 Special
September 12, 2009, 11:16 PM
I think folks who are interested in the topic really should pay close attention to KenWP's post at 4:16 today. In my experience at a busy audiology/hearing aid practice, a lot of folks A) think they've gotten away with noise exposure because they haven't experienced significant problems yet ("you mean working on the factory floor 40 years ago caused my deafness???") and B) often aren't aware of how much hearing they're actually missing (Husband: "I hear fine. People just need to quit mumbling." Wife: "You're deaf, dammit! We're tired of yelling at you and listening to you say 'what?'")

As always, of course, I feel perfectly comfortable posting such warnings, because I know for a fact that young people are invincible and won't pay any attention. So keep on shooting without hearing protection. There's a new Ferrari I've had my eye on.

.38 Special
September 12, 2009, 11:20 PM
Oh, and HSO keeps bringing up points but underestimating their impact:

"Hearing loss is one of the major sources of disability payments made by the armed services."

As I understand it, hearing loss is THE number one source of disability claims in the U.S. military. I am honestly am not sure if we could keep the doors open if not for our armed forces.

chuckusaret
September 13, 2009, 12:47 AM
I spent 24 years in the military at peace and war. I served proudly as a grunt, door gunner, aircraft crew chief and as a maintance chief and none of these jobs caused any hearing loss. I started shooting in in the late 1940's and still shoot most weekends. I am old, but I don't have the "What did you say" problem.

ColinthePilot
September 13, 2009, 01:46 AM
JellyJar, I'm on your side with this one. I'm only 24 and I've been flying airplanes of all sizes since I was 15, and shooting regularly since I was about 19. I double up when I fly, foamies with David Clark headset. I don't mind spending the extra money on high quality hearing protection for shooting (Peltor Tactical 6S or Howard Leight Impact Sport), if I'm shooting indoors, I double up.

After all that, I'm noticing some hearing loss, even at my age. I have trouble isolating sounds like conversations in crowded rooms. Lots of conversations going on, I can't even hear the folks 2 or 3 seats away from me.

I attribute most of it to flying and hanging around airports for most of my teenage years. I don't think much of it is due to shooting. Compared to long term exposure to aircraft engines, APU's, ground power carts, etc, I don't think shooting is terribly hazardous, all things relative, of course.

.38 Special
September 13, 2009, 02:03 AM
I spent 24 years in the military at peace and war. I served proudly as a grunt, door gunner, aircraft crew chief and as a maintance chief and none of these jobs caused any hearing loss. I started shooting in in the late 1940's and still shoot most weekends. I am old, but I don't have the "What did you say" problem.

Thank you for your service, sir. Care to post your most recent audiogram?

jakemccoy
September 13, 2009, 02:33 AM
I double up when I fly, foamies with David Clark headset. I don't mind spending the extra money on high quality hearing protection for shooting (Peltor Tactical 6S or Howard Leight Impact Sport), if I'm shooting indoors, I double up.


Since you're wearing plugs underneath, you might as well double up with non-electronic muffs. They're less expensive and offer a higher noise reduction rating. Compare:

http://www.cabelas.com/p-0044358228573a.shtml
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0021552226002a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=howard+leight&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

Again, I say this because you're wearing the plugs underneath. With the plugs, you don't get to take advantage of the active filters of the electronic muffs.

JohnKSa
September 13, 2009, 02:48 AM
Again, I say this because you're wearing the plugs underneath. With the plugs, you don't get to take advantage of the active filters of the electronic muffs.Actually you do.

You can turn the volume up on the electronic muffs (they won't let you exceed a safe level) which will help you hear normal level sounds through the plugs but when the noise level outside the muffs get too loud they will cut off and you'll get the benefit of both the muffs and the plugs. You can't merely add the two dB noise reduction ratings but you do get more reduction using both than you would with just one or the other.

Plugs + electronic muffs turned up + normal outside sound = better hearing than wearing plugs or muffs alone.

Plugs + electronic muffs turned up + dangerous outside sound = better protection than wearing plugs or muffs alone.A second concept is using hearing protection during a home invasion.I have NEVER seen anyone on THR make a blanket suggestion to "use hearing protection during a home invasion".

Some have said that in a bump-in-the-night scenario where there is no urgent threat apparent that donning a good set of electronic hearing protectors could be an advantage for several reasons:

1. You can hear better than normal with a good set of electronic muffs which provides a benefit in locating and identifying the source of the noise.
2. It will prevent temporary deafness if there is shooting, thus preserving your auditory situational awareness.
3. It will prevent hearing damage if there is a shooting.

This is not a difficult concept--I'm mystified as to why so much repetition is required.


Do NOT reach for your hearing protection if you obviously need to immediately arm yourself and/or immediately summon help.

IF there is no immediate threat and you have a good set of binaural electronic muffs handy then use them. They can't hurt and they can help. If for any reason they don't work they can be removed and discarded in less than a second.

natman
September 13, 2009, 06:01 AM
Quote:
A second concept is using hearing protection during a home invasion.
I have NEVER seen anyone on THR make a blanket suggestion to "use hearing protection during a home invasion".

Some have said that in a bump-in-the-night scenario where there is no urgent threat apparent that donning a good set of electronic hearing protectors could be an advantage for several reasons:

1. You can hear better than normal with a good set of electronic muffs which provides a benefit in locating and identifying the source of the noise.
2. It will prevent temporary deafness if there is shooting, thus preserving your auditory situational awareness.
3. It will prevent hearing damage if there is a shooting.

This is not a difficult concept--I'm mystified as to why so much repetition is required.

* Do NOT reach for your hearing protection if you obviously need to immediately arm yourself and/or immediately summon help.
* IF there is no immediate threat and you have a good set of binaural electronic muffs handy then use them. They can't hurt and they can help. If for any reason they don't work they can be removed and discarded in less than a second.


One minor quibble; I hunt with electronic muffs and have hundreds of hours experience with them. I've found that while it is possible to turn them up to get better than normal hearing, it is difficult to locate sounds while doing so. Because everything is louder it sounds closer than it is, which also throws off your sense of sonic direction.

OTOH, at a normal volume level it is quite easy to judge distance and direction. I have a pair for HD and I've rewired them so that the volume knobs are locked at normal level and both muffs turn on and off with one separate switch.

That nit pick aside, thanks for an excellent post.

scythefwd
September 13, 2009, 06:29 AM
I have fired a 9mm in the house without hearing protection. I have fired an M16 next to a concrete wall without hearing protection. I have lived for year next to two 60k tactical generators (they claim to be quiet, but I bet they are every bit of 80-90 db) which were never shut off. I have shot my .30-30 without ear protection and it caused a ringing in my ears (as well as the 9mm and the m16).

I am 30 years old this Dec., and I can still hear a mosquito. I can hear CFL light bulbs buzz a little. I can hear a 60 hz hum in electronics. I can hear my tv whine, and I still score good to above average on hearing tests.

Abuse to take a kid hunting without ear protection?? Nah, just stupid. They will do more and longer lasting damage with an Ipod than a single 30-06 blast. Maybe we should limit the sale of personal electronics that can hit damaging levels, and make amplifiers completely illegal as well. If I were you, I would palm the kids some foam ear plugs and let them decide.

Oh, I also have been to several concerts and leaned on the speakers beside the stage, and I used to have a 110 db stereo system in my car.


.38 special,
My last audiogram had me in the 0 - +5 range in all frequencies. They stated that the tests I took when I enlisted that had -10's on them are no longer used and the 0's were equivalent. I know I have hearing loss, but I still have better hearing than most people I have talked to. I also have a small case of ringing (tenitus??) every once in a great while when I have a head cold or have taken a blow to the head.

hogshead
September 13, 2009, 06:54 AM
I have shot most of my life and and most of the time used plugs on hp rifles and pistols. Had my hearing checked about 5 years ago. The doc asked if I shot a lot because of damage in my left ear. I am right handed. Told him about plugs with everything except .22. He told me that .22s had caused more damage than all the hp guns put together, because people did'nt think that they where that loud. I still dont use protection while hunting to hard to keep up with. Wish I had of when I had a 450 Marlin with a muzzle break. Sold that gun because of that stupid muzzle break. I now almost always use hp when practicing. As for contacting OSHA about blanks and child abuse for letting kids hunt without hp. Sounds like something an Obama supporter would do.

Quoheleth
September 13, 2009, 07:18 AM
I'm not going to touch the initial OP's question about child abuse with a 10-foot pole. IMHO, it's none of your business; stay out of it. Those two words have ruined more lives than you will ever comprehend.

That said...

I am not a combat vet. I am 35 and have been shooting since I was 8. Through dozens of bricks of .22s, cases of 20 gauge shells, and some centerfire rifle, I never used ear protection. I finally got smart (well...that might be debated) and began using ear muffs when sighting in my .270 but that was it. Dove, quail, and hundreds of soda cans were all punctured without ear plugs.

I also have to admit I worked in a car garage with air compressors, air wrenches, grinders, and all sorts of other loud equipment. Dad and I were amateur wood workers - routers, table saws, circular saws, and even some metal cutting were done in our home garage. I also mowed lawns, ran weed eaters/edgers, and was around lots of farm equipment - all sans ear protection.

The net result is that my hearing is screwed up. If it is quiet, I can hear a pin drop across the room and tell you if it landed point up or down. If there is background noise (i.e., TV, Radio, or even a fan running) and someone is talking, depending on their voice tamber, I may or may not understand the person. My 8 year old has a particular vocal tone/pitch that I lose 80% of what she says if there is any background noise. On the other hand, if my 12 year old talks, I lose maybe 10-20% in the background noise. My ears are now so sensitive that if I strike something (hammer & nail, smack a stapler) for more than a half-dozen blows, I can feel my inner ear cringing/puckering at each impact. Ear plugs are now a necessity. I put in ear plugs before even gassing up the mower or chainsaw. If it's anything more than hanging up a picture for the wife or driving in a nail sticking out of my deck floor, I get the plugs out. I put plugs in the ears even before entering the gate of the gun range.

As Toby Keith sings, "I wish I knew now what I didn't know then." I'm 35 and have this issue now. Wonder if I'll be able to understand my grandkids some day...:(

Q

Gun Geezer
September 13, 2009, 07:45 AM
Hearing loss is absolutely preventable. I have my teenage girls wear earplugs when they blow dry their hair!

Yes, a 30-06 is enough to do permanent hearing damage.

Yes, not requiring ear plug use by minors is abuse. But for the most post it is simple ignorance and/or studipidity on the part of the adult and probably not intent.

Hearing protection, eye protection, and other PPE should be taught in high school. I am in favor of an OSHA course requirement. It's real life real threats that such training protects against.

Gun Geezer
September 13, 2009, 07:50 AM
I have fired a 9mm in the house without hearing protection. I have fired an M16 next to a concrete wall without hearing protection. I have lived for year next to two 60k tactical generators (they claim to be quiet, but I bet they are every bit of 80-90 db) which were never shut off. I have shot my .30-30 without ear protection and it caused a ringing in my ears (as well as the 9mm and the m16).

I am 30 years old this Dec., and I can still hear a mosquito. I can hear CFL light bulbs buzz a little. I can hear a 60 hz hum in electronics. I can hear my tv whine, and I still score good to above average on hearing tests.

Abuse to take a kid hunting without ear protection?? Nah, just stupid. They will do more and longer lasting damage with an Ipod than a single 30-06 blast. Maybe we should limit the sale of personal electronics that can hit damaging levels, and make amplifiers completely illegal as well. If I were you, I would palm the kids some foam ear plugs and let them decide.

Oh, I also have been to several concerts and leaned on the speakers beside the stage, and I used to have a 110 db stereo system in my car.


.38 special,
My last audiogram had me in the 0 - +5 range in all frequencies. They stated that the tests I took when I enlisted that had -10's on them are no longer used and the 0's were equivalent. I know I have hearing loss, but I still have better hearing than most people I have talked to. I also have a small case of ringing (tenitus??) every once in a great while when I have a head cold or have taken a blow to the head.
Should we also allow kids to decide if drugs are safe enough to take, whether they should swallow glass, sniff paint?

Keep it up without the ear plugs. You have lost hearing and will loose much much more if you shoot w/o hp. Medical fact.

scythefwd
September 13, 2009, 08:52 AM
Steve,
Nowhere did I say I still shoot without plugs in. I said I have shot without ear plugs in. My radio doesn't get turned up very loud either any more.

From my experience, kids are the first to cover their ears, not the ones trying to tough it out. I bet if they have the plugs, they will use them. That is an interesting jump in logic you did there though. Hmmm... let kids decide about hearing loss, which is non fatal and unavoidable (you heard me right.. unavoidable... it will happen) but can be lessened and jumping to things that can very well be lethal to the child. Not seeing how they relate really. I did sarcastically suggest banning everyday items that again are non lethal, but I don't see how that translates to letting them choose about drugs (again, ultimately it is their call, and they will have to make it themselves someday).

I firmly believe in ear protection. I don't shoot without them nor will I shoot around people who don't have plugs in. But to let a kid shoot without them and call it abuse???? I say that is a going a bit far.

moooose102
September 13, 2009, 09:21 AM
A friend of my mothers has two preteen boys that he is now taking deer hunting with him. They are all using a 30-06 rifle and no hearing protection. I think that is child abuse, do you?

NO! i DO NOT think this is child abuse! :fire: what a parent does with his/her kids is no one business but their own, :what: UNLESS the child is being sexually or pysically beaten to the point he is being injured or permanant damage is being done! keep your opinions to yourself! it is a parents right to raise their kids the way they see fit.
i have been hunting and shooting since i was 7 (shooting) and 14 (hunting). i never wore ANY hearing protection until i was in my late 30's, and then, only at the range. when you are hunting, you need to hear. period, the one, or two shots you will do in a hunting situation, should have no long term affects on your (or thier) hearing. it hasn't mine, and i am 52.(yes, i still hear mosquito's just fine) and by the way, i shoot a 300 win mag or 45/70 for hunting.
what i do notice about my hearing, is that my ears ger more sensitive as i age. when i shot my fathers 300 H&H magnum in my youth with no hearing protection, it didn't hurt nearly as bad as when i shoot a 30-30 now.
the only thing i dare to shoot now without hearing protection is a 22 rifle, and then not for very long. however, i still hunt without hearing protection. i ALWAYS will.
what i have learned from the vets that i have talked to is that most of their hearing loss can be blamed on explosions, or prolonged exposure to machinegun fire. not normal small arms fire that was normal in most training or combat.

Beelzy
September 13, 2009, 10:16 AM
LOL! I can just picture being out hunting dangerous game(which I have BTW) while wearing ear muffs.........Yeah.

6.5x55swedish
September 13, 2009, 10:35 AM
Child abuse? If smoking around your kids is not considered child abuse than allowing them to shoot without hearing protection is not either. Dumb yes, but not child abuse.

That being said if you are dumb enough to allow you kids to shoot without ear or eye protection you probably are not smart enough to be teaching tem proper gun safety to begin with. Gun safety starts with personal safety.

I do not wear hearing protection while hunting.... hearing is pretty important when in the woods and a shot is not taken often enough to worry about hearing damage.

.38 Special
September 13, 2009, 12:45 PM
My last audiogram had me in the 0 - +5 range in all frequencies. They stated that the tests I took when I enlisted that had -10's on them are no longer used and the 0's were equivalent. I know I have hearing loss, but I still have better hearing than most people I have talked to. I also have a small case of ringing (tenitus??) every once in a great while when I have a head cold or have taken a blow to the head.

I am 30 years old this Dec.

Get back to us in another few decades. One of great things about hearing loss - for those of us making money off of it -- is that you can get away with all sorts of stuff as a youngster and not see much in the way of consequences. That tends to make people believe that they are the exception, that the statistics don't apply to them, that cautions about noise exposure and hearing loss is just a bunch of sissy talk. Then they end up sitting in my office, looking at an audiogram the resembles a tracing of Obama's popularity ratings, and wishing they could get a do-over.

Fortunately, by the time today's youngster's are reaping the rewards, there will probably be a medical cure noise-induced hearing loss. I will be retired by then, so everyone wins!

natman
September 13, 2009, 01:14 PM
Get back to us in another few decades. One of great things about hearing loss - for those of us making money off of it -- is that you can get away with all sorts of stuff as a youngster and not see much in the way of consequences. That tends to make people believe that they are the exception, that the statistics don't apply to them, that cautions about noise exposure and hearing loss is just a bunch of sissy talk. Then they end up sitting in my office, looking at an audiogram the resembles a tracing of Obama's popularity ratings, and wishing they could get a do-over.

Amen.

I did all kinds of stupid stuff without hearing protection when I was younger. Shooting. Rock concerts. Racing mechanic.

Never bothered me. Then. But the damage builds up. Eventually it takes longer and longer for your ears to stop ringing. Then one day it just doesn't stop. Ever. You get to hear EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all day. Every day. Forever. It just never stops.

You know that state you get into just before dawn when you don't know if you're awake or not? When you're not quite sure if your awake or dreaming? Not a problem for me. If I'm awake I can hear my ears ring. If I don't, I'm dreaming.

So let me tell all you hotshot know-it-alls now what I dearly wish someone had told me then:

PROTECT YOUR HEARING. Now.

jakemccoy
September 13, 2009, 02:07 PM
I have NEVER seen anyone on THR make a blanket suggestion to "use hearing protection during a home invasion".

Some have said that in a bump-in-the-night scenario where there is no urgent threat apparent that donning a good set of electronic hearing protectors could be an advantage for several reasons:

1. You can hear better than normal with a good set of electronic muffs which provides a benefit in locating and identifying the source of the noise.
2. It will prevent temporary deafness if there is shooting, thus preserving your auditory situational awareness.
3. It will prevent hearing damage if there is a shooting.

This is not a difficult concept--I'm mystified as to why so much repetition is required....

Here you go:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=473859

In the other thread, you'll notice people getting pretty testy as they explain how they would dawn ear protection during a home invasion. According to the original post in the other thread, the topic was not "bumps in the night". However, you're welcome to start your own thread about that.

Anyway, all you're doing is bringing up the same points from that other thread. The reasoning on both sides is already well covered in the other thread.

By the way, if it's such a simple concept, then please provide one example of a real home invasion where the homeowner was reportedly wearing ear protection. Again, the topic in question is NOT about mere "bumps in the night".

You nick-picked the hell out of my one-liner. You're distinguishing "bump in the night" from "home invasion". As a practical matter, that distinction makes no sense. If you know beforehand that it's merely a bump in the night and nothing else, then boxers and a flashlight would be sufficient. If you think it's a home invasion (the topic at hand), then I and many others are saying that putting on ear protection is impractical and unnecessary. See reasoning in other thread.


* IF there is no immediate threat and you have a good set of binaural electronic muffs handy then use them. They can't hurt and they can help. If for any reason they don't work they can be removed and discarded in less than a second.


...and I disagree with that advice. I'm not the only one. See reasoning in other thread.

Of course, do whatever you want. I don't mean to hurt anybody's feelings.

CowboyShootin
September 13, 2009, 02:29 PM
I lost more hearing from 1 night at a Foghat concert than in 40 years of 'normal' listening to rock-n-roll or all my shooting hunting!

I don't see the point or need for 'ears' while hunting. 1) How can you hear your quarry if you've got your ears plugged? 2) You should not be firing repeatedly (w/ possible exception of water foul). Ditto with self defense / home defense.

For RANGE shooting, club shooting, competition shooting - ALWAYS use 'eyes' and 'ears' of the best quality and db reduction you can get!!!!!

tenfeathers
September 13, 2009, 02:41 PM
Well I for one sustaned hearing damage 2 weeks ago from a PSL fired about 10 feet away and even with my ear. Damage's the hairs that carry sound to the brain (read up on Tinnitus)
I have had constant ringing ever since in my left ear, my doctor said it's permanant and no cure. I would wear the ear plugs just for safety.
jst my exper.
Paul

rocky branch
September 13, 2009, 02:42 PM
I din' use no sissy hearing protectors in 50 years of shooting, including an infanry MOS and 19 monthslive fire as an advisor.

I was in error.
The combat time was necessary "bare back."

Today I have tinnitis and significant hearing loss.
The VA gave me some hearing aids but they are a hassle.

My bigest dread is having to call and talk to any kind of representative-I sound like a cranky old fool.
"Speak up-I cain't understand you."
Wear protection-unmanly, but helps preserve your hearing.
Emergenvy situations the excption, of course.

JellyJar
September 13, 2009, 02:47 PM
To me any time a person enters your house against your will for criminal purpose that is "home invasion". To me it does not matter if they are slowly crawling through an open window or they kick your door open and run in like storm troopers, its "home invasion".

I now realize that not everyone uses that term that way so if you should reread my original post then just substitute "home invasion" for what ever other term you like.

When I was young my mother smoked around us all the time. Today I would call that child abuse and so would she. She now lives with me and still smokes but takes care to be outside or on the porch when doing so. Today we know about the dangers of second hand smoking but not back then. Today we know how much harm shooting without hearing protection can hurt a child's hearing but not when I was growing up.

Also, the term child abuse is a relative term. Child abuse can be fairly minor or very serious. I fear that those two boys may suffer hearing loss sometime in the future.. Don't you?

Take ya'll

jnyork
September 13, 2009, 04:41 PM
I shoot with a group of about 35 seasoned citizens, all of us are on Social Security or older. EVERY ONE of us has some hearing loss, and some are deaf as a post!! All due to noise exposure over the years and not wearing any hearing protection at the range, at work, wherever.

Take care of your ears, fellers, it aint sissy, it's SMART!

Yes, even when shooting .22's.

Yes, they DO make hearing protection (ear muffs) specifically sized for children. Any gunshop will have them or will get them for you.

John Parker
September 13, 2009, 05:29 PM
Is there anyone here that doesn't use ear protection at the range?

JohnKSa
September 13, 2009, 06:14 PM
jakemccoy,

You really need to read through that thread again.

1. The suggestion was always to use ELECTRONIC hearing protection, not just a blanket comment about hearing protection as your post here implied.

2. The first time anything even close to the term "home invasion" was first used in post 19 of the thread in a paragraph that started out: "I am quite aware of the fact that you will not always have the time to don hearing protection should your house be invaded while you are there." If you read the comment that the OP of that thread placed here and then reread the thread you linked to, you will see that the OP never used the actual term "home invasion" and was using a more generic meaning of the terms "invaded" and "invasion" which was actually fairly obvious in the OP unless you were reading it with a predetermined mindset.

3. The first time anyone on the linked thread used the actual term "home invasion" it was you who used it. That was on the second page when you tried to create the strawman of putting on hearing protection "in the midst of a home invasion". Something no one suggested either on this thread or on that one.......and I disagree with that advice. I'm not the only one. See reasoning in other thread.I read the other thread--you will note that I participated in it actively. The only other comments I could find that specifically related negatively to using electronic hearing protection had to do with putting it on "in the middle of a home invasion" or otherwise putting it on when there was obviously not really time do do so.

There were a couple that commented on the difficulty of using hearing protection with a phone and another that mentioned the issue of dead batteries/malfunctions. I don't see a reason that good electronic hearing protection can't be used with a phone and the solution to dead batteries/malfunctions is twofold. First, check your batteries from time to time--just as you do in a flashlight. Second, if the batteries are dead or it malfunctions you can remove and discard it in less than a second....a shot is not taken often enough to worry about hearing damage.That is not correct. While repetitive noise is more damaging, a single shot can be sufficient to cause permanent hearing damage.

jakemccoy
September 13, 2009, 06:20 PM
The first time anything even close to the term "home invasion" was first used in post 19

The original post in that other thread talks using ear protection when there are home "intruders". If that ain't talking about a home invasion, then I don't know what is. Also, the guy who wrote that original post further clarified that he has been talking about home invasions (Post #42 above).

I really hate going back and forth. However, I have to get into with you because you're wrong, condescending and loud.

I don't see a reason that good electronic hearing protection can't be used with a phone and the solution to dead batteries/malfunctions is twofold. First, check your batteries from time to time--just as you do in a flashlight. Second, if the batteries are dead or it malfunctions you can remove and discard it in less than a second.

Once again, there are a number of people who are not on board with this advice. It appears that your feelings are hurt. Get over it.

JohnKSa
September 13, 2009, 06:48 PM
The original post in that other thread uses home "intruders" while talking about using ear protection. If that ain't talking about a home invasion, then I don't know what is.Ok, that's becoming obvious.

An intruder can be a burglar which could be a person who enters the home with no intent to do any harm other than to steal. Or an intruder could be a drunk who mistook your house for his house.

"Home invasion" is a rather specific term that relates to a violent and abrupt entry of a home known by the criminals to be occupied.Also, the guy who wrote that original post further clarified that he has been talking about home invasions...Actually that's not what he said. He said he has NOT been talking about home invasions.To me any time a person enters your house against your will for criminal purpose that is "home invasion". <<That is not the common meaning of the term "home invasion">> To me it does not matter if they are slowly crawling through an open window or they kick your door open and run in like storm troopers, its "home invasion". <<To nearly everyone else it does matter--the term "home invasion" means the "storm trooper" scenario as I explained above.>>

I now realize that not everyone uses that term that way so if you should reread my original post then just substitute "home invasion" for what ever other term you like.
I really hate going back and forth.I would suggest that based on your input on this thread and the other one you linked to that you enjoy it a good deal more than you think you do. :DHowever, I have to get into with you because you're wrong, condescending and loud.Even if I were all those things it wouldn't mean you "have to" do anything. As it happens, I am neither wrong nor loud. It's possible I'm having some issues with being condescending at the moment. :DIt appears that your feelings are hurt.I suggest that before you try to convince yourself you can read minds you should work on convincing others that you can comprehend what you read. ;)

WTBguns10kOK
September 13, 2009, 07:30 PM
Anyone who doesn't force their kids to use hearing protection when shooting a .30-06 isn't really fit to be a parent. Either they cooperate or they don't get to shoot the gun. It's apparent that some people, in the face of common sense, history and first hand accounts, trivialize the importance and frailty of human hearing. They deserve no sympathy.

06
September 13, 2009, 07:53 PM
----"As for contacting OSHA about blanks and child abuse for letting kids hunt without hp. Sounds like something an Obama supporter would do"-------amen--
Am very near retirement and my ears ring sometimes. I do not wear hearing protection while deer hunting and fire an '06. Have for forty yrs. What do we expect as we grow older-to have the hearing of a teen ager. Every thing else loses it's elasticity and flexibility-why not the ear drum anvil and stirrups?? wc

jakemccoy
September 13, 2009, 08:27 PM
JohnKSa,

I am sorry that I hurt your feelings. Have a nice day.

Best Regards,
-Jake

scythefwd
September 14, 2009, 12:25 AM
"Also, the term child abuse is a relative term"

Actually, it is a criminal offense in many jurisdictions. Tossing that term about can ruin peoples lives. To call not making your kid wear hearing protection "child abuse", especially in the wrong company, could end up with DCFS involved, the children taken into foster care temporarily, and possibly charges brought against the parents. "Child abuse" is causing harm to a child. The damage of letting someone shoot a high powered rifle once or twice will probably not show up on an audiogram 50 years later. Considering everything else that people do without the protection, I doubt the damage could be attributed to those two shots alone.

.38 special,
I do have hearing loss. I readily admit it, but I don't think that the damage I've done shooting a total of 10 rounds without proper protection is anywhere near a drop in the bucket compared to the damage I have done doing everything else. I always find it interesting how professionals in the audio field say "look at all the loss we have measured on you" but at the same time the people who work in factories (I am related to more than just a couple) are still perfectly functioning adults. My old mans ears ring, and it isn't from the little bit of shooting he has done without protection. It is from the 30 years of working in a machine shop for catapillar. My grandfather worked in a factory, and never had problems hearing... he was in his 80's when he died. Yes, there is hearing damage, but it isn't stopping them from living a full and happy life. I think people get too wrapped up in the charts to realize that a little hearing loss (or total) isn't going to be a disability to someone who is willing to live with the consequences of their actions. I could go deaf tomorrow, and other than sleeping better during the day because I can't hear my dogs going nuts and the simple shock of it, I would still be a fully productive member of society. I can read lips, I can read, and I can write. I can learn ASL if I have to. I would be "disabled", but I wouldn't be an invalid. Then again, I would miss my daughters first cry, etc....

.38 Special
September 14, 2009, 08:43 PM
I do have hearing loss.

If your score are 0 to +5 across the board, you don't have hearing loss. "Hearing loss" by most definitions requires thresholds of below 20 or 25 dB at at least two of the "key" frequencies: 500, 1000, and 2000 hertz.

I readily admit it, but I don't think that the damage I've done shooting a total of 10 rounds without proper protection is anywhere near a drop in the bucket compared to the damage I have done doing everything else.

How do you know this to be true?

I always find it interesting how professionals in the audio field say "look at all the loss we have measured on you" but at the same time the people who work in factories (I am related to more than just a couple) are still perfectly functioning adults.

I often find that people who hear well at lower frequencies and not so well in higher frequencies deny hearing loss. That is because some voices are lower frequencies than others, and also because you can at least partially overcome moderate high frequency loss by looking at people who are speaking to you, and minimizing background noise. So some voices really do come through just fine.

Again, one of the "standard" conversations in my office is -- husband: "I hear just fine except for mumblers and nagging women"; wife: "You only think you hear, but most of us have given up trying to talk to you".

A fun variation on the theme is -- husband: "I hear just fine!", son: "Yeah, get off his case!", daughter: "Are you both nuts???", wife: "They must be. Neither of us has had a normal conversation with him in a decade."

My old mans ears ring, and it isn't from the little bit of shooting he has done without protection. It is from the 30 years of working in a machine shop for catapillar.

How do you know that to be true?

My grandfather worked in a factory, and never had problems hearing... he was in his 80's when he died. Yes, there is hearing damage, but it isn't stopping them from living a full and happy life.

Another one I frequently come across: "I hear fine. I mean, yeah, I have a hearing loss, and my ears ring all the time, and people are annoyed when they try to talk to me, but it's not a problem." I know a fellow with no fingers and half a thumb, on his right hand. He's lived a full and happy life too -- but I'll bet he'd use the blade guard this time, if he had a second chance.

I think people get too wrapped up in the charts to realize that a little hearing loss (or total) isn't going to be a disability to someone who is willing to live with the consequences of their actions. I could go deaf tomorrow, and other than sleeping better during the day because I can't hear my dogs going nuts and the simple shock of it, I would still be a fully productive member of society. I can read lips, I can read, and I can write. I can learn ASL if I have to. I would be "disabled", but I wouldn't be an invalid. Then again, I would miss my daughters first cry, etc....

Sounds good to me, mate! As I've been saying right along, if young men were rational I'd have to find a different line of work!

scythefwd
September 15, 2009, 11:19 AM
.38,
I have ridden around in cars over 100 db for hours on end. I used to keep my music turned all the way up. I am betting that the hundreds of hours of that plus the constant 365 days of 24 hour drone of the generators that were so loud I had to really raise my voice to be heard over them did a lot of damage that will show down the road. The construction I did with hammer drills through 18 inch concrete walls, the sawsalls cutting through zinc plated cable trough under raised floors, the constant working in data centers with very loud air handlers...etc. will have a larger impact than 10 rounds did total. I know I don't hear as well as I used to, especially in very high frequency noises, but that doesn't mean that it is showing up very much on the tests.

About your question on how am I sure it was the factory noise that damaged my old mans ears.... have you ever been in a production factory ? You have to yell just to be heard... long term exposure to high volume noise, and very high frequency (he doesn't hear high frequency very well, but we all know this). He is still a functioning adult, and he admits the hearing loss...I never said they don't admit the loss of hearing, I say they are perfectly functioning adults.

My Grandfather didn't need to be spoken to in anything other than a normal tone by anyone but his wife (his daughters were fine, we think he was just ignoring grandma because she would nag him... which fitted with his personality). Even young girls would talk to him in normal or whispered tones and he never needed them to repeat.

hso
September 15, 2009, 11:43 AM
Industrial/Construction noise that requires you to raise your voice to be heard can cause threshold shifts in hearing (damage). Hobbies that have a lot of frequent noise exposure that require you to raise your voice (cart racing, car racing, bike racing, power tool use, bands, etc.) also can result in hearing loss. Shooting sports are one of the few hobbies that focus on protecting hearing. There's sound science behind that emphasis.

Make no mistake, in today's modern world there are few jobs outside of an office that don't have some risk of hearing loss and there are few hobbies, other than time in the wilderness, that don't have some risk as well.

Protect your hearing whenever the noise level is loud enough that you have to raise your voice to be heard and you'll have more hearing to loose as you get older.

Justin
September 15, 2009, 11:48 AM
So, because you've been in environments with loud, repetitive noise (work shops, car engines, loud music) then it's ok to go without wearing hearing protection when shooting a gun?

Granted, the long-term exposure to loud music may have caused more cumulative hearing damage than being exposed to ten shots from a rifle, but it doesn't change the fact that exposure to gunfire will cause irreversible hearing damage.

Frankly, it's idiotic that we're even having this discussion.

chuckusaret
September 15, 2009, 11:49 AM
Thank you for your service, sir. Care to post your most recent audiogram?

I have had one every year in the military, I was on flight status, one at least every year since I retired 32 years ago and I don't have a hearing loss any greater than the average loss for a person my age. Most people that do spend 20 years or more in the military do suffer a hearing loss and get a small disability. If I did have a hearing loss I would have been given a 10% disability by the VA. I have also taken both pre-employment and retirement audiograms by my last employer, The State Of Florida, and had normal hearing on both for a person my age...

1911 Operator
September 15, 2009, 12:02 PM
at the range, i always use the foam plugs in my ears, and 32NRR headfones over my ears. some might call this exessive, but my hearing is still perfect after 17 years of shooting :D

in a home defense situation, you need to hear noises in your house, obviously, to hear where the intruder is, so hearing protection isn't really suggested, unless you have one of those fancy expenssive electronic ear protection deals that lets safe noise through. i've heard those don't generally work as advertised though.

Devilfrog
September 15, 2009, 12:05 PM
While I was a machinegunner (M60E3) in the Marine Corps we typically did not wear hearing protection while training w/ blanks or when the bullets were going both ways. I have lost some hearing, more in the left ear than right and I deal with tinnitus (ringing in the ears) daily. I wear hearing protection whenever I shoot at the range and my hearing has not suffered any further since getting out of the Service. I have not met any former machinegunners that did not loose some hearing during their time in, kind of an occupational hazard. :evil:

fatelk
September 15, 2009, 01:27 PM
My grandfather was almost completely deaf when he passed away. He was in the army during WWII (though not in combat), hunted for many years, but most of all worked in a lumber mill for decades.

I'm very careful about hearing protection, myself. I've been told by too many people that you may not actually see the damage until years later. About ten years ago, I fired one round from a 4" .44 mag right next to a metal wall. I was in pain for a month in my right ear, and it still buzzes a little once in a while, from one shot.

On the other hand, a shot or two from a hunting rifle in an open field or mountain top I personally don't see as a real big deal. I sure wouldn't call it child abuse.

My pet peeve regarding child abuse, is parents who think they need to give their kids absolutely everything they want. They spend thousands of dollars on Christmas gifts. If the kid breaks a toy, they run out and buy another one. If a teacher gives their kid a bad grade, "That mean old teacher's just picking on my precious angel". When their kid grows up to be a disrespectful jerk who can't deal with the real world, they can't understand what went wrong. No, I wouldn't say overindulgence is child abuse, but it sure causes more lasting harm than taking your kid hunting without ear plugs.

FWIW, I always wear hearing protection, and my kids do too.

Ala Dan
September 15, 2009, 01:41 PM
I'm at 62 and counting, and have been shooting big bore handguns since
'bout 1968; often times without (did you hear me, WITHOUT :eek:) any
type of hearing protection. My initial (first) large bore handgun happened
to be a 4" barrel Smith & Wesson model 57; and I did not think the loud
noise from this flame thrower bothered me very much~! :uhoh: Much too
my surprise, as I find myself gett'in much older; I am darn near deaf, and
have to ask persons to repeat what they say~! ;)

I find that my 16" Colt H-BAR Match Target Competition 5.56 is a big
culprit of LOUD bangs; even when my ears are protected with foam ear
plugs, and electronic ear muffs.

Word to the wise: Don't be stupid, hearing damage is irreversible;
ALWAYS wear adequate protection for both ears and eyes~! :)

Cosmoline
September 15, 2009, 01:45 PM
I also take it very seriously, and often double up on hearing protection with both muffs and plugs. I have shot some rifles outside and one .357 indoors with no protection. The ringing on the magnum took a week to go away. My hearing has gradually gone from way better than normal as a child to just better than average now. But that's been 40 years of exposure to daily noise. I don't think the .22 LR's or even that one magnum blast really did much in the long run. It's the accumulation that seems to get you. From what I know about how ears get damaged, I'm actually more worried about frequent exposure to the sharp cracks that "get passed" your earplugs at the range every weekend than the rare episode of painful exposure.

However, I think there is a MAJOR psychological component to shooting and ear protection. The discharge of a high powered weapon indoors is painful at a very core level. Even if your hearing has not been damaged, your brain REMEMBERS that it hurt when you last broke the silence with the crack of doom. That may well be reflected by hesitation and flinching. The weapon becomes the enemy to your brain, like a firecracker in your hand. If throwing on some digital muffs that will erase the crack without harming your ability to hear the intruder is going to help avoid that, it's worth the investment.

Skoghund
September 15, 2009, 02:12 PM
Had my two yearly health check up with the company doctor. For 60 years old everything is in good working order apart from my hearing.
In the 60's i shot a lot of wood pigeons. Not unusual to shoot 200 shots a day with out hearing protection. Years of working in concrete repairs breaking concrete without hearing protection has left me a deaf old git.
I wear electric ear muffs for work and all my shooting be it down the range or hunting.
Not much chance of any one breaking into my house. But if they did would'nt be able to hear them any way:).

Lou McGopher
September 15, 2009, 02:38 PM
People lose their hearing as they get old.

scythefwd
September 15, 2009, 04:49 PM
hso, justin,
Can you point out where I recommended that people shoot without protection? I can surely point out in this thread where I state that I will not shoot without protection or near people without protection.

To make my position clear, I do not recommend shooting without protection. I don't consider it child abuse to not force your child to shoot without protection though. I have shot without protection, but I no longer will do so. I will experience hearing loss due to my activities, but most of it will probably come from other hobbies, not shooting. I will not suffer hearing loss, I will experience it.

.38 Special
September 15, 2009, 08:15 PM
FWIW, it is absolutely possible to spend a lifetime exposed to noise and not suffer any real hearing loss. It's just that a lot of people think they're one of them, and few people actually are. The argument that "I know a guy who was exposed to noise and hears just fine, so it's safe to be exposed to noise" is akin to pointing out a guy who survived a gunshot wound to the head as evidence that it's safe to be shot in the head. IOW, a basic logical fallacy.

I do have to admit it saddens me to see the (thankfully rare) attitude of "Hearing loss is no big deal; I know I'll get it so who cares?". If folks with that opinion could only spend a few hours getting "counseled" by people who come into my office with "a jet plane in my ears" 24/7/365, people who have never heard the voices of their grandchildren, people who have "dropped out of life" because they cannot hear at church, or the movies, or the family gatherings...

I've been joking around on this thread, because I fully realize the futility of arguing this or anything else on the internet. But the idea that hearing loss is just another "experience" that won't cause any suffering is the sort of sadly uninformed nonsense that only a young man can come up with.

Everyone here has their minds made up, though. C'est la vie, I guess.

.38 Special
September 15, 2009, 08:20 PM
People lose their hearing as they get old.

Quite a bit of testing has been done on "primitive" populations where noise exposure is all but unheard of, so to speak. These tests universally show that "age related" hearing loss is mostly mythological. There are certain disease processes that show up primarily in the elderly, but as a general rule age is responsible for hearing loss only insofar as old folks have been exposed to noise longer than young folks.

The all-too-common "Normal hearing for my age" line is, then, a bit of a cop-out. Normal hearing is normal hearing, and old folks who had protected themselves from noise exposure would, for the most part, not have to come up with excuses for their hearing problems.

1911 Operator
September 16, 2009, 02:34 PM
have you ever noticed that lee ermey puts empty hadgun shells in his ears for hearing protection (on his history channel show "locked and loaded")?

it seems that this would provide little if any protection at all.

scythefwd
September 16, 2009, 03:29 PM
1911,
You notice how he also doesn't have an indoor voice??

1911 Operator
September 16, 2009, 04:01 PM
1911,
You notice how he also doesn't have an indoor voice??
lol yeah, the lack of hearing protection

Yellowfin
September 16, 2009, 04:04 PM
...All of this discussion because of one absurd law passed in 1934 curtailing the one effective hearing safety device that would be most effective in cutting down on HD hearing perils, range day damage, and hunting hurting. ONE simple safety device that thanks to that law is an expensive novelty only available in about 60% of states to less than 50% of the population and implemented on considerably less than 1% of firearms. Something that could reduce noise pollution and encourage safety and practice, and is an American made product that sells for hundreds of dollars each and employs machinists and other metal workers while American industry on the whole is starved for business of that kind. Disgraceful.

1911 Operator
September 16, 2009, 04:08 PM
...All of this discussion because of one absurd law passed in 1934 curtailing the one effective hearing safety device that would be most effective in cutting down on HD hearing perils, range day damage, and hunting hurting. ONE simple safety device that thanks to that law is an expensive novelty only available in about 60% of states to less than 50% of the population and implemented on considerably less than 1% of firearms. Something that could reduce noise pollution and encourage safety and practice, and is an American made product that sells for hundreds of dollars each and employs machinists and other metal workers while American industry on the whole is starved for business of that kind. Disgraceful.
yep, silencers. good point. i am in 100% agreement.

PandaBearBG
September 16, 2009, 05:09 PM
Everybody's hearing threshold is different, some can handle high volumes of noise with no long term ill effects, some people have weaker eardrums that are more prone to damage. Some people age and are still as sharp as ever and some people lose hearing at an early age. It's different for everyone so everyone has a different opinion or theory. So maybe 1 shot will do the damage to you or 100 shot will give you a headache for a month. The smartest things is to wear protection whenever around high volume or excessive noise, but in HD/invasion situation how you handle and act and who you are dictates your choice. Do you hole up and wait in your room with earmuffs on? Will you be able to hear the intruder coming to your door or opening the latch? Or are you going to search or investigate the noise? Is it better to not wear protection to better hear and find the intruder? Or muff up and hope your eyes will make up for the lack of your other sense? Everyone has different priorities and techniques, but for me, in a HD situation I'd like every advantage I can get and that includes ALL of my 5 senses. Shooting indoors at a range or some other controlled excercise w/o ear protection is stupid and protection should be worn if you got it. Shooting inside a small range next to a metal wall that will intensify the sound w/o ear protection? That's just a bad idea.

Although good arguements pointed out on each side, the original post was about would you wear ear protection in a HD situation. For me, No.

Dave B
September 16, 2009, 09:28 PM
I've always heard that if you do something loud enough to make your ears ring, you have done some, even if small, permanent damage to your hearing. As I type this, I am listening to my ears ringing. I seem to hear just fine, but if I think about it, the ringing is there.

JohnKSa
September 16, 2009, 09:48 PM
Do you hole up and wait in your room with earmuffs on? Will you be able to hear the intruder coming to your door or opening the latch? Or are you going to search or investigate the noise? Is it better to not wear protection to better hear and find the intruder? Or muff up and hope your eyes will make up for the lack of your other sense? How is it that we have so many people on this forum who apparently haven't heard of electronic hearing protection????

Good electronic hearing protection will actually enhance your hearing, it will help you locate the noise and augment your senses.

1911 Operator
September 16, 2009, 09:51 PM
most people have some degree of ringing in the ears. for whatever reason too, damage from ear infections, loud noises, fluid in the ears......

1911 Operator
September 16, 2009, 09:53 PM
How is it that we have so many people on this forum who apparently haven't heard of electronic hearing protection????

Good electronic hearing protection will actually enhance your hearing, it will help you locate the noise and augment your senses.
yeah, but most people either can't afford, or aren't willing to spend the kinda of money it takes to get the expensive electronic muffs. i heard that the cheap ones don't work at all, and the expensive ones crap out eventually, from folks at the range.

JohnKSa
September 16, 2009, 10:05 PM
...most people either can't afford, or aren't willing to spend the kinda of money it takes to get the expensive electronic muffs...Virtually anyone who can afford to own and shoot a firearm can afford decent electronic hearing protection. You can buy a decent set for around what a single 50 round box of .380 ammo was selling for a month or two ago. :D

After reading a few of these threads I can certainly believe that people aren't willing to spend the money, however.i heard that the cheap ones don't work at all, and the expensive ones crap out eventually, from folks at the range. I've only had my Peltor muffs for a decade or so--I'll let you know when they eventually "crap out".

esq_stu
September 16, 2009, 10:29 PM
I got the tones/ringing after shooting a .45 at an outdoor range without protection.

Back then, in my 20s (I am now 54), I was teaching myself to play piano, and played somewhat by ear - I learned by sight reading the music but then practiced by ear once I got the notes down.

When I got home from the range, I tried to play the piano and was unable to play by ear due to the tone/ringing. That made a believer out of me. The ringing passed after a day or so.

I've doubled up plugs/muffs ever since.

1911 Operator
September 16, 2009, 11:32 PM
Virtually anyone who can afford to own and shoot a firearm can afford decent electronic hearing protection. You can buy a decent set for around what a single 50 round box of .380 ammo was selling for a month or two ago. :D

After reading a few of these threads I can certainly believe that people aren't willing to spend the money, however.I've only had my Peltor muffs for a decade or so--I'll let you know when they eventually "crap out".
glad to know that you're an authority on what everyone can afford. :scrutiny:

a box of 380's a month or 2 ago were going for $30 in my area.

are you saying you can get a decent set of electronic muff for 30 bucks?-i seriously doubt that.

JohnKSa
September 17, 2009, 12:06 AM
.glad to know that you're an authority on what everyone can afford.I didn't say "everyone" could afford them, I said "virtually anyone who can afford to own and shoot a firearm" can afford to own them.

Let's think about that comment. If you're shooting a firearm then you're probably paying for ammo and range fees. Probably something like $25-$45 every time you go to the range with a centerfire. $10 to $15 for the range fee and $15 to $30 for ammunition if you want to shoot at least a box or two. So by skipping 2 to 3 range trips you can save enough to buy a pair of decent electronic muffs.

Some folks may not pay range fees, some folks may reload, some may only shoot rimfire, that will mean they will have to skip a few more range trips to save the money, or they may fit into the small group of folks who don't qualify as "virtually anyone who can afford to own and shoot a firearm".

are you saying you can get a decent set of electronic muff for 30 bucks?-i seriously doubt that.The .380 comment was intended to be somewhat humorous, thus the smiley. I'm sure you saw, as I did, reports of boxes of .380 ammo being advertised for upwards of $60 in various places during the recent shortage. You can get a decent set of electronic hearing protectors in the $65-$75 range. Maybe less if you shop around or find a good sale.

Ok, now you tell me why you're so upset about the suggestion that shooters would benefit from using good quality electronic hearing protection and the comment that it's within reach of most shooters.

1911 Operator
September 17, 2009, 01:01 AM
Ok, now you tell me why you're so upset about the suggestion that shooters would benefit from using good quality electronic hearing protection and the comment that it's within reach of most shooters.

actually like i mentioned, most folks i've talked to at the range with expensive electronic muffs, say the "electronics no longer work".

what i do is wear is 33NRR muffs along with 32NRR ear foam plugs-both howard leight brand. this provides at least as good, if not better protection than a set of expensive electronic muffs.

as i don't hold a conversations on the range, being able to hear a quiet sound is something i don't have any use for.

and i sure would not be clearing my house at night with a possible intruder in it with muffs on.

i don't think there are too many people out there who trust electronic muffs enough to allow you to hear even the lightest noise made by a possible attacker in your home.

you're certainly welcome to wear them in that situation, i think i'll pass though, thanx :D

JohnKSa
September 17, 2009, 01:16 AM
actually like i mentioned, most folks i've talked to at the range with expensive electronic muffs, say the "electronics no longer work".All I can tell you is that I've been using mine for years and know of others who use them and have yet to hear of a failure. I'm sure that some of them do break--made by humans and all--but it doesn't seem to be nearly as common as the folks you've talked to would lead you to believe.

I poked around on the web and couldn't locate anything suggesting a high failure rate with good quality electronic muffs.i don't think there are too many people out there who trust electronic muffs enough to allow you to hear even the lightest noise made by a possible attacker in your home.I can hear a LOT better with electronic muffs on than without them. Under the proper conditions you can hear someone breathing in a room before you enter it.

If they do quit working? You can tell immediately (just as you would know if you suddenly went deaf or if someone muted your TV) and they can be removed in less than a second.

Have you ever tried a good set?

jakemccoy
September 17, 2009, 03:28 AM
what i do is wear is 33NRR muffs along with 32NRR ear foam plugs-both howard leight brand. this provides at least as good, if not better protection than a set of expensive electronic muffs.


From a purely protection standpoint, that setup is better. Check the ratings of electronic muffs. If you want to hear conversations easily with all that stuff on your ears, then you're out of luck.

EDIT:

Well, maybe if you spend about $300+ you can get 33 NRR in electronic muffs:
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0065879229806a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=pro+ears&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=7&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=14&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

If you don't need to converse or hear home intruders through your muffs, then you can spend about $40 for the same amount of protection:
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0054103229098a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntk=Products&QueryText=pro+ears&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form23&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

My setup includes these muffs ($25) and earplugs:
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0021552226002a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=howard+leight&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=9&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=18&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1
http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/holemaxuffop.html

I like to go to the range with earmuffs for me and a new shooter friend. It's good for my friend to see that she is using the exact same ear protection as me. I'm not going to double up on expensive electronic muffs when I can get the same or better protection with passive muffs. My friends and I don't mind yelling. Also, I won't put on any muffs during a home invasion or a bump in the night or whatever. :)

natman
September 17, 2009, 03:56 AM
yeah, but most people either can't afford, or aren't willing to spend the kinda of money it takes to get the expensive electronic muffs. i heard that the cheap ones don't work at all, and the expensive ones crap out eventually, from folks at the range.

http://www.amazon.com/Peltor-97044-Tactical-Hearing-Protector/dp/B00009363P

I have a pair of these that I have worn on every hunting trip I've taken for the last 15 years or so. They work great, they are light and comfortable and they are well worth every penny.

Trust me, if you develop tinnitus you'll beg for the chance to pay ten times as much to get rid of it.

JohnKSa
September 17, 2009, 04:15 AM
Ok, I was responding primarily to a comment about home defense, but you bring up some very important points related to electronic hearing protection and general shooting.From a purely protection standpoint, that setup is better.It is if you leave it on the whole time you're at the range. I can't count the number of shooters I've seen who took their hearing protection off at the range to hear someone talking and got surprised by a shot. Even happened to me a time or two before I switched to electronic muffs.I like to go to the range with earmuffs for me and a new shooter girlfriend. It's good for my friend to see that she is using the exact same ear protection as me.I bought my wife a set like mine--but she's a big NASCAR fan so I got her a model that has a built-in radio so she can use it at the track too. Yeah, her set cost more than mine but she's worth it. ;)

When I take a new shooter to the range I let them use the electronic muffs because they need to be able to hear me talking and giving instruction. Also because I want their first experience to be as all-around nice as possible. So far no complaints about my not wearing the same expensive & comfortable equipment they're using. :D

When I started shooting I bought cheap hearing and eye protection and spent my money on guns, ammunition and range fees. After years of shooting I've changed my attitude. If I started all over again I'd buy better protection equipment right up front. I can still remember fighting with uncomfortable muffs, trying to get cheap muffs to seal around my shooting glasses, taking my muffs off and being surprised by a shot, etc. Now when I go shooting I don't have to think or worry about that stuff.

Yellowfin
September 17, 2009, 10:31 AM
Again, this is all what you resort to because the obvious better answer is more expensive and less available. Would you honestly prefer to wear earplugs or muffs when driving your car, or do you have a muffler?

jakemccoy
September 17, 2009, 02:10 PM
...All of this discussion because of one absurd law passed in 1934 curtailing the one effective hearing safety device that would be most effective in cutting down on HD hearing perils, range day damage, and hunting hurting. ONE simple safety device that thanks to that law is an expensive novelty only available in about 60% of states to less than 50% of the population and implemented on considerably less than 1% of firearms. Something that could reduce noise pollution and encourage safety and practice, and is an American made product that sells for hundreds of dollars each and employs machinists and other metal workers while American industry on the whole is starved for business of that kind. Disgraceful.

I agree. Put together something for the activism forum. However, I don't know how far-fetched it would be to ease the bans on sound suppressors.

ishida
September 17, 2009, 02:18 PM
Wait, electronic muffs crap out?

I'm using CHEAP ones, the generic set that Sportsman's Guide sells for $30. I've had them for a good four years now with pretty heavy use, and they're STILL going strong. I can double up with plugs and muffs and still hear range commands, and no ear damage to boot!

ishida
September 17, 2009, 02:20 PM
Jake, something really funny, is that a lot of the other nations that have major controls on guns or near-bans, don't have the many controls on suppressors as we do, and actually see them exactly like the muffler on a car--a reduction in sound pollution.

hso
September 17, 2009, 02:39 PM
i heard that the cheap ones don't work at all, and the expensive ones crap out eventually, from folks at the range.

I have 2 pair of Peltors that have been working for the past 4 years and they seem to be doing just fine.

I also have new shooters wear the electronic muffs so they can clearly hear instructions. Worn over plugs and with the volume set so they can hear me with my voice only slightly raised they get optimum protection of their hearing and their safety is improved because they can hear and instruction or warning without me wondering if they're going to hear me through the hearing protection.

Other than price I haven't seen any sound argument against using electronic hearing protection on the range.

1911 Operator
September 17, 2009, 09:12 PM
Trust me, if you develop tinnitus you'll beg for the chance to pay ten times as much to get rid of it.

well i use 33NRR muffs along with 32NRR ear plugs, both howard leight brand-always.

highly doubt i'll develop the infamous tinnitus with this combo. i can't hear crap when i'm at the range. :D

jakemccoy
September 17, 2009, 10:16 PM
When I started shooting I bought cheap hearing and eye protection and spent my money on guns, ammunition and range fees. After years of shooting I've changed my attitude. If I started all over again I'd buy better protection equipment right up front. I can still remember fighting with uncomfortable muffs, trying to get cheap muffs to seal around my shooting glasses, taking my muffs off and being surprised by a shot, etc. Now when I go shooting I don't have to think or worry about that stuff.

I hear you. My hearing is that good. :cool:

However, I need to say that my ear muffs (Howard Leight Leightning L3) are inexpensive at $25, but they're not cheap. The ear muffs I have were developed within the last few years or so. Maybe you didn't have this option available to you back when you had your experience with cheap muffs. The L3 ear muffs seal nicely around my ears, don't come loose and are rated at 30 NRR. I also wear plugs that are rated at 33 NRR underneath. I bought a bulk pack of 1,000 disposable plugs for relatively little money.

You have your setup that works for you. That's great. There are other setups that cost substantially less money and that work for other people. Not everybody has the habit of taking off their muffs like you. I don't. Whether you like it or not, it's possible to spend less than $40 and get the same or better protection than your expensive setup. I gave two examples above. This technology is not one in which you have to pay more in order to get more protection. You only have to pay more if you want to hear conversations better while having protection that's comparable to the superior protection of passive muffs. :)

bigalexe
September 17, 2009, 10:35 PM
Happy I saw this thread!

Yesterday Afternoon/Evening I went to the rifle range with some POOR earplugs. I ended up assisting someone sight-in an AR-15 in .223 with a barrel that was effectively 11" in length. My ear is still ringing slightly about 30 hours later.

JohnKSa
September 17, 2009, 10:44 PM
Not everybody has the habit of taking off their muffs like you.What an odd comment. I've never been in the habit of taking off my muffs, but there have been occasions where it was necessary to hear something that was not audible with my muffs in place. When I used to wear passive hearing protection my only option for dealing with that necessity was to remove the muffs in order to be able to hear.

Frankly when I started shooting, most of my shooting was done alone. It was only when I began participating in matches more, when I started going shooting more often with friends, when I became affiliated with a local gun club and started doing some instructor work that it became important to be able to hear what was going on around me at the range....it's possible to spend less than $40 and get the same or better protection than your expensive setup.If NRR is all you're concerned about then there's no question that this is correct. The key to understanding my comments is realizing that passive hearing protection is exclusively about protection while electronic hearing protection is about both providing the ability to hear and providing protection at the same time.

You don't get that capability preservation for free.You only have to pay more if you want to hear conversations better while having protection that's comparable to the superior protection of passive muffs.Well, not just conversations, pretty much any sound that's not roughly the same loudness as a gunshot. :D

Good passive hearing protection is quite inexpensive and if hearing protection is your only concern then it's a great solution.

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