Hearing protection with glasses


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monotonous_iterancy
May 27, 2012, 03:55 PM
Hey all, I'm 18, live in the country, I like horseback riding, music, and occasionally I shoot guns. I don't hunt, just plink. Anyway, I have mild tinnitus. I'm not exactly sure why, but I always say that it's from the time when I was 15, and this guy let me shoot his CCW gun, a .45 auto, and I forgot to use hearing protection. I squeeze off one shot, my ears explode, and I hand the gun back to him and tell him that I need to get some earplugs. Almost immediately, he fires off the rest of the magazine while I'm still standing there. My ears rang for a few hours, and I don't think it ever totally went away. It's slightly worse in my left ear.

I also took metal shop at school this year, and I was the only one who brought hearing protection for when they used the grinders and circular saws and plasma cutters, but I didn't always use it the most effectively, because I kept them in my pocket, so they had trouble keeping their shape at times, and I just went with "Well it's better than nothing." Recently I found some earplugs that work better for me, and have a rating of 33 to boot.

I think I have some slight hearing damage, and I don't want it to get worse, so my question is, are earplugs by themselves good enough when shooting anything louder than a .22? I also have prescription glasses, and I double up with muffs, even though I don't get a complete seal. Is there a way I could get those to work for me? Does not having a complete seal make it worse by funneling sound next to my ear?

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TurtlePhish
May 27, 2012, 04:29 PM
Welcome to THR! I wear glasses and use only earplugs when I shoot, and I shoot very loud rifles- a braked AK-74 and a Mosin M44, as well as several others that aren't quite that bad.

If you put in the plugs like shown in this thread, they work VERY well. It's hard to hear someone talking next to you.

Thread: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=654267

Warp
May 27, 2012, 04:30 PM
Why would you not double up? Even with a less than perfect seal with muffs is a lot better than no muffs at all. Besides, who doesn't wear glasses or safety glasses when they shoot?

monotonous_iterancy
May 27, 2012, 04:45 PM
Are you sure? I don't know where I read this, but someone once mentioned the possibility of using muffs with a broken seal, means that the sounds will go through the gap, and be funneled, as opposed to just going wherever. I've also heard of sounds being transferred through the bones in your ear, which makes sense, which is why I double up.

matrem
May 27, 2012, 06:00 PM
sounds will go through the gap, and be funneled, as opposed to just going wherever.
B.S.
No more "waves" are coming through that gap than would have made it there anyway.
Wear at least the properly inserted plugs, then muffs can only help from there.
BTW, anybody shooting without ear protection is foolish. (i know this from first hand experience, unfortunately.)
Somebody shooting around others who are unprotected is even more foolish.
EDIT:
I spose if you canted the fronts of the muffs open, they could act as "little soundwave boosters? "

Walkalong
May 27, 2012, 07:11 PM
I use these by Howard Leight (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/155225/howard-leight-leightning-l3-earmuffs-nrr-30-db-black), and they work fine with glasses as long as the part that goes over the ears isn't really big. Very comfortable, and they work very well on gunfire.

jcwit
May 27, 2012, 07:22 PM
Howard Leigth makes some very good Electronic Muffs also. I use these
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/671923/howard-leight-impact-sport-electronic-earmuffs-nrr-22-db-green

They were recommended to me by a U.S. Army Pistol Instructor. Not a bad price either.

GarySTL
May 27, 2012, 07:49 PM
Might try a set of these (http://www.sensgard.com/products-1).

I bought a set years back and they seem to work well. No longer use them as I've gone to custom molded plugs or the custom made electronic plugs.

I'd bought them at a woodworkers supply store, so if there's one in your area check t out.

Oxide
May 27, 2012, 07:57 PM
Good earplugs work well by themselves.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 09:31 PM
If we are recommending muffs I have to toss the Peltor Ultimate 10 into the ring.

I still double them up with plugs when shooting indoors, though.

EvilGenius
May 27, 2012, 09:32 PM
Howard Leigth makes some very good Electronic Muffs also. I use these
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/671923/howard-leight-impact-sport-electronic-earmuffs-nrr-22-db-green

They were recommended to me by a U.S. Army Pistol Instructor. Not a bad price either.
I've had a pair of those for about 8-10 months now.

I mostly wear them on the flight line and in the sheetmetal shops at work and they are fantastic. However I do find that at an indoor range theyre not quite enough. Outdoors they are fine though.

Walkalong
May 27, 2012, 09:51 PM
I do find that at an indoor range theyre not quite enoughI agree. You need plugs under them to be as affective as the non-electronic HL muffs are by themselves. I have both, and like both. The electronic come in real handy when in a crowd, but when alone I do not use them. I want max protection.

hso
May 27, 2012, 10:00 PM
monotonous_iterancy,

If you search for threads on hearing protection you'll find one fact repeated over and over again, wear plugs under muffs when shooting.

Those other threads will teach you a lot about how to use hearing protection to the best benefit to protect your hearing.

If you have tinnitus from just those exposures you should see a specialist and have your hearing tested. There are a wide range of medical conditions that can cause your ears to ring and some of them are very serious. Some of them can be resolved using proper treatments so you may actually find you have something that can be simply treated.

Note that ear plugs can be purchased for large and small ear canals so you can get a good fit.

Since you wear glasses remember that you want to minimize the gap formed by ear muff pads so that you have less noise get through the gap, but the gap doesn't increase the noise exposure you might experience without the muffs. Wear plugs properly and muffs properly and you'll get the greatest benefit.

Look at the following
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SPNPZJingZA

Surf
May 27, 2012, 10:02 PM
I have Howard Leights but the nicest are my Sordins with the Gel ear pieces. They conform nicely around glasses and are the most comfortable.

Lex Luthier
May 27, 2012, 10:20 PM
The Howard Leight noise cancelling are worth the money. Squishy ear plugs, adjust the spectacles, and then mount the ear muffs. I have a dedicated pair of glasses for shooting that stay in the range bag, which hug my temples a little tighter.

Flashcube
May 28, 2012, 12:03 AM
I have had good luck with the el'cheapo Harbor Freight bulk-packed disposable earplugs. If used right, they seem to be more than adequate for anything at an outdoor range. Indoors I double up with my $12 safety orange Stihl branded Peltor muffs lol.

But at roughly eight dollars for a box of fifty pairs, and I get three to four uses out of each pair before they get...gross, the Harbor Freight plugs are a pretty good bargain. Always have two or three boxes in the machine shop for those of us who aren't already deaf. :P

dmazur
May 28, 2012, 12:04 AM
I wear prescription glasses and have done so for such a long time that I have a "groove" in my head right in front of my ears.

This was undoubtedly caused by the glasses I wear, which have rather snug, narrow temples (the part that fits over the ear.)

As long as I wear my normal glasses, I get a good seal with muffs, all the way around my ears. If I wear glasses with a fat temple or a curved temple, it breaks the seal and I can hear the difference.

It isn't like not wearing the muffs at all, but there is a difference.

So, yes, if you wear any kind of glasses under muffs, you should probably double up with ear plugs.

Even if you have a "dented skull" and get a good seal. :)

monotonous_iterancy
May 28, 2012, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. I'm tempted to buy some of them. My glasses don't have wire frames, they're thicker, squarer, in fact. They don't really touch my temple. At the time, I was thinking of cosmetics and not shooting. Now that I can afford my own ammo, I've started to consider it.

ball3006
May 28, 2012, 10:09 AM
I have been wearing muffs over glasses for 50 years with zero problems. My gun club requires eye protection when on the range. You should too. Go to a sporting goods store and try on several muffs to see how they fit you. As far as your bud shooting off his gun next to you and you did not have hearing protection, THAT IS WHAT FINGERS ARE FOR.....chris3

hso
May 28, 2012, 05:22 PM
If your prescription isn't too extreme consider getting a pair of prescription inserts for shooting using a spoggle/goggle with strap instead of ear pieces. http://www.opticsplanet.net/prescription-inserts.html

btg3
May 28, 2012, 05:49 PM
Plugs and muffs are like socks and shoes, because what fits and functions for others is not necessarily what you should base your decision on.

For instance, I found that push-in plugs work best for me because they stay in place and can easily be removed/inserted as desired. Roll-up plugs back out of my ear, are diffiicult to place correctly for a good seal in my ear, and are a hassle to remove/re-insert. This is despite good training with use of roll-ups and trying various makes/models.


I buy a box of 100 count E*A*R Push-Ins (NRR 28db) and keep them handy for use with lawnmowers, chain saws, blowers, circular saws, angle grinders, motorcycling, and so on, in addition to shooting.

To double-up, I cut the push stems a bit shorter. But I don't shoot large caliber and generally only double-up when indoors or inside a vehicle (IDPA). Besides, in the southeast, the summer sun will heat up a set of muffs and cook your noodle.

Whatever ear protection you choose, be sure you know how to use it properly, else you may not be protected.

highlander 5
May 28, 2012, 06:02 PM
I have 2 sets of Peltor electonic muffs that fit over my glasses nicely when shooting handguns. I switch to foam plugs when shooting rifles as I can't get a good cheek weld with muffs on.

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