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Firearms, Hearing Aids, and Hearing protection...

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by whm1974, May 1, 2020.

  1. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    I had hearing loss since birth and worn hearing aids all of my life and while have worn solid ear muffs during shooting guns, I am wondering about if Modern Hearing Aids do have enough noise cancellation for hearing protection or if any are aviable that can do this with very noisy work environments as well as with shooting sports?
     
  2. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    Similar situation, and I usually open my hearing up under muffsto work as a second pair of hearing protection. Protect what hearing you have.

    The only other thing I could think of are the electronic muffs. I've not worn them though.
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    No, not yet.

    To protect what hearing You have left you will need muffs and plugs.

    Electronic shooting muffs don't work like industrial noise canceling muffs so you can't use a single set in both environments.

    We're just not there yet.
     
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  4. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    I did not know this at all. Thank you for informing me.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    What noise canceling headphones do is impose 180 degree out of phase waveforms to the sound coming in so the peaks of one cancel out the valleys of the other. Great for constant sound like machines.

    Shooter's muffs simply monitor the volume of a rapidly changing sound, gunshot, and when the volume hits 90dB it turns off the speaker in the headphones so you just get the passive protection of the muffs.

    Right now, and for the foreseeable future, canceling waveform tech isn't fast enough to respond to gunshots.

    If you need hearing aids you still need to block sound pressure levels from gunshots and other noise to protect your hearing. Since earplugs and ear muffs protect against different wavelengths of sound at different efficiencies you really should take your hearing aids out, insert high NRR plugs, and put muffs over them. Only buy the highest quality. You better than most know how valuable your hearing is and how expensive it can be to keep it normal.

    If you have enough natural hearing left you can use electronic shooters muffs and turn up the volume so they amplify the normal sounds. The clipping circuit will just turn them off for the milliseconds needed to protect your hearing.

    BTW, I have constant tinnitus (ringing) and slight hearing loss and I always double up with muffs and plugs. I wanna keep what I got.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  6. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    Wow Post #5 keeps me from adding a lot (thnx hso:thumbup:)

    I'll therefore shorten it, I recently talked to two Audiologists. First has been practicing over 30 years and where I bought my prescription quality full shield shooting gizmos 15+ years ago. The other is newer but a PhD, and a regular shooter of several platforms...

    Tech doesn't exist yet to both correct the specific hearing loss i.e. amplify the lost frequencies, and at the same time, shut off or compress:cool: too loud sounds i.e. over a specified decibel rating.

    They're working on it, but not yet. I don't understand in 2020 hi tech era, we will permanently be on the moon in 4 years etc., but, this tech doesn't exist, yet.
     
  7. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I can’t wear both at the same time it just doesn’t work for me, fit and feed back are both a problem. I can lower the volume to a point on the aids that 22’s close by and some hands guns 50 ft or more away are tolerable. Custom ear molds completely block off the ear canal but are vented, I think all hearing aids have vents, so not all noise is blocked.
    But then again I’ve reached a stage of hearing that removing the aids is like just turning off the world, it goes silent. Handy sometimes. ;)
     
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  8. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Tinnitus no longer becomes a problem once one reaches the point where on can no longer hear it.
    A poor attempt at levity but I’m assuming that’s why in my case it’s gone away. :(
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Then you will need to pull the hearing aids and use plugs and muffs to protect what you have left.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  10. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    It will get more attention as Gen X gets to the "Wha!? Stop MUMBLING!" stage of life. And, a continuing acceptance that hearing is an easily lost and irreplaceable sense. Which attitude has changed in just my lifetime.

    It's also two problems at once, too.

    One is the decibel volume, the other is the intensity of the sound (which is an over-pressure). That latter is why 5.56nato is actually more damaging than .44magnum (understanding that both cause damage).

    Which is not much helped by organizations like OSHA, mostly focusing on long-term, eight-hour work shift, exposures, and setting limits by fiat, rather than by science. (This is where we get the 140dB = hearing "safe" thing--that's an industrial exposure rule, not a medical one.)

    What's needed, probably, is a valved system that can respond to over-pressure, as well as a decibel-gauged limit. All in a package that can be conveniently be stuck in human ears over a wide range of body measurements.

    Flying to the moon is relatively easy, it's fifty-year old tech at this point.
     
  11. whughett

    whughett Member

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    That’s what I do. Then I need to keep the Walker muffs turned up to hear range commands. :( And watch the shooters around me for cues.
     
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