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hearing protection; unwanted advice for the younger set...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by atch, Feb 24, 2013.

    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    Yes I have that too. It’s called tinnitus, and it is caused from loud noises. It’s no fun, the only good it does for me is a VA disability, believe you me I wish I didn’t have it, sometimes it’s so loud that you just don’t know what to do.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 783

    from Michigan

    My right ear is pretty bad from being on the business end of a Marshall jcm 900 for a living for ten years... And working in shops as a teenager, dad was a machinist. I try to be careful now at 44.
  3. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,217


    My ears been ringing loud for the last 53 years. Jet engine man in the airforce. Drives me nuts at times. VA pays me $110 a month compensation. Not even close.. they didn't have ear plugs first 3 years I was in.
  4. Sandgroper
    Joined: Jan 20, 2019
    Posts: 298


    Yep, 59 years of driving tractors, using chainsaws, grinders etc topped off with automatic rifle fire, riding in APC,s and tanks firing. All before hearing protection was cool and mandatory. Lucky only lost 30 percent but miss it badly even with state of the art hearing aids. Compensation doesn't even come close. Wear protection.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  5. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,727

    from Ioway

    One of the loudest things I ever heard in my life was at Osan, a fighter jet was being run up what sounded to me at least like full bore, static on the ground, and some guy reaching up into the belly with a screwdriver or whatever, adjusting something. Maybe the idle mixture screws LOL. Damn it was loud, though.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  6. Small constant noises are as bad as big loud noises. In machine shops, hissing air hoses drove me nuts. I'd go around changing them at one shop I worked in.
  7. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    ken bogren has it right. Back ground noise in a restaurant prevents me from going to a restaurant (even before COVID-19).
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 2,038


    Back to the top with this important thread. Working in power plants where everything is loud, we wear ear plugs. Personal protective equipment is cheap compared to missing fingers, eyes, or loss of hearing. PPE is not only for the essential workers, it is for everyone. Please be safe at work and at home.
    RidgeRunner likes this.
  9. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 654

    from Alabama

    Just wanted to add that if you work or play in areas with high levels of noise custom fitted earplugs might be the answer. Amazon as well as other places sell kits (Starting at about$25) that you soak in hot water then place in your ears and they then retain the shape, fit tighter and therefore cut down on noise more effectively. There are also kits that you take an impression of your ear then send the impressions off and the company makes custom fit ear plugs. You can also look for audiologists in just about ang city that you can go to and they do the impressions and make you earplugs starting at about $100. Any of these options are cheap enough to save you hearing.
    Beanscoot likes this.
  10. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,224


    Depending n your MOS in the military, your hearing can be impaired.
    Helicopter door gunner comes to mind.

    Attached Files:

  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,968


    upload_2020-7-18_5-5-59.png Custom made ear plugs and leash

    My hearing loss is a result from two things: one was working on a bunch of hot rods with loud exhaust pipes, getting close to those open headers in drag racing vehicles and enjoying every minute of that sound. Then after we stopped going to the drags, we started surfing in cold waters of Santa Barbara. This was something new and very cold, no one had lightweight wet suits or anything for the head. It was the coldest we have ever been.

    Then to add fuel to the fire, everyday mild to cold waters of our own So Cal coast line for hours of fun…those two have created a myriad of “WHAAAAT?” moments in our daily lives. So says the otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors.) They provide both medical and surgical care

    Then when my wife’s dad started shooting his cache of rifles, shotguns and pistols, we definitely had to wear ear plugs and full coverage, over the head ear plugs like stereo headphones. They were afraid that their son-in-law was going to be deaf from the loud noises from the explosions.

    But, after those early loud experiences as teenagers, then loud, "sit in front of those tall Marshall Amplified Speakers at concerts and events" did further damage. My wife and I would walk out of a concert and just look at each other for several minutes of absolute silence with some ringing in the ears. Then we would laugh back in the El Camino and drive off to get a snack or two. Little did we know those concert events accentuated the speedy growth in the ear canal.

    Starting with loud noises, adding in hours of cold water inside, then shooting rifles and pistols, finally adding in some of our own loud rock and roll music during our 20 something (y)ears through those huge 15 inch bass speakers and horn tweeters. FUN!!!

    It was loud, but a lot of fun just sitting back and enjoying the time period.

    Then came the time period of almost daily rides on our Harley Sportster, in the day time and at night. It had custom dual exhaust pipes over the 88db limit. Finally, interspersed with cold water in the daily/weekly surf sessions. Hours of exposure above in the cold air and in the cold water. Cold air blowing by our ears on the Harley was just a hollow sound, but dangerous. … ha! Those times in the water and bike, then led to more build up inside of the ear canal. During this 20 something era, the trifecta was the loud music blasting on a daily basis. Something had to give.


    After countless times of answering my wife’s questions with a … “What?” we decided to get some professional help. A very cool doctor in the Scripp’s Hospital in San Diego was the only doctor doing a minimal invasive procedure that took care of the hearing blockage, but made the recovery short and enjoyable. (Otolaryngologist) His consultation was that it is called surfer’s ear and is a bunch of calcium deposits under the skin that block the canal, causing hearing problems.

    It is the body’s way to fight against invasive loud noises. So, he did say drag racing, motorcycle riding without plugs and loud music helps the growth of those deposits. In this case, he said the main culprit as far as he was concerned was cold water and bashing on the surface of the ear going underwater.

    Most doctors in the OC did the intrusive slice and dice in the back of the ear flaps. That meant months of recovery and looking like a puffy cotton man with white bandages on both ears. (that slice and dice outside was going to take a month or two with skin healing from a stitched cut behind both ears from top to bottom)
    My doctor’s solution was to go into the ear canal, make the necessary slices, dig out the obstructions, gently lay the flaps back over the incisions, and let it rest for a couple of weeks. Cotton balls for protection during recovery kept me looking somewhat normal. I was back in the water in three weeks. The loud music was placed on hold…

    But, in the meantime, he had his audiology lab run some tests and create my own individual ear plugs. A little squirt of rubbery goo inside, wait for it to solidify and out popped the exact fitting ear plugs with their own leash. It did not block total sound, but it did feel funny when I could not hear the waves coming toward me or while on the wave. It threw me for a loop for several rides. The whole point was to create a barrier against the cold air and if any water got inside, it would warm the water up so it felt ok, and not damaging.
    He told me that it was not for a shooting range, but could be used at a drag strip or concert. Luckily, the concerts and drag racing scenes were fading fast in the OC. So, I used these for 20 plus years in the water. My insurance paid for the visit, surgery and custom ear plugs. I haven’t used them for the last 17 years, but they decorate a nice area of my garage drawer space.

    Sometimes my wife still asks a question and I still answer with… what???? It has grown to be “selective listening” to get along with any conversation. Ha! But, if I don’t pay attention, I am in deep trouble all day, locked in place…OR on the road.

    Have the obstructions grown back? Probably, but we can't always walk around with sound deadening headphones looking like some kid listening to his/her phone, can we? Life moves on and there are other things to adjust to, like being locked in place and not walking around just to be social.
    Sandgroper likes this.
  12. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,231


    Im mid 40's. My first job was in a stamping plant, very loud all day 7 days/week. If you didnt wear ear plugs you got walked out.
    Having to be in that environment for years, I wear ear plugs all the time. Loud stuff bothers me. Earplugs all the time, Mowing the yard, using any power tool, sometimes even a cordless drill.

    Its saved my hearing. I now hear everything.......theres tradeoffs with that too....... I have a wife and 2 preteen daughters, very loud humans...... conversations in other neighbors 2 houses down have a sqeeky garage door, I want to go fix it.....bullfrogs in the neighborhood retention pond in the middle of the night, yep I hear those too.

    Im joking a bit. YES, Wear hearing protection.
    Sandgroper likes this.
  13. Driving race cars, standing on starting lines next to race cars, guns , loud music, all kinds of boatloads of unknown stupidity in my youth. Deaf in one ear. Hearing aid in the other. High C ringing in my ears for constant company. Can't read lips with this mask deal now. But I'm not really complaining. Only thing bothers me is not being able to tell the direction a noise is coming from. A definite disadvantage working on old cars.No blame but my own. Just wear hearing protection.
    Sandgroper likes this.
  14. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,669


    I have "behind the ear" hearing aids in both ears & I can't wear the traditional mask with the loops that go around the ears. I rigged up a piece of elastic to go behind my neck to hold the mask on, but the mask tends to want to slip down faster than the loop around the ears method. I too have realized that I've been doing a lot of lip reading. Be careful, youngsters, you're not invincible.
    Sandgroper likes this.
  15. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,102

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Easy solution to that, ditch the mask unless you have a real reason to wear one like protection from welding dust or bondo dust in the garage.
  16. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,042


    A friend used to wear ear muffs and plugs when chain sawing, which I thought was a bit above and beyond.

    A while ago I spent several hours sawing up some big Douglas Fir logs while wearing my good Peltor earmuffs. When finished, I took them off and I could hear ringing in my ears.
    So the double ear protection turns out to be a good idea.
  17. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,968



    One of the most common things for hearing loss is the home garage environment. We don’t notice it with the table saws, drill presses, wood lathes, etc running. But, the damage is being done there. One of the other big hearing loss items that was brought to my attention was the ordinary portable air compressor. We all have our uses for the air compressors. When I started to get an old garage set up for my practice pinstriping, flame painting and then finally air brushing techniques, I had to buy a small air compressor.

    As much as I tried to seal off a corner of the garage for the compressor, it made a ton of noise that bothered me. So, I moved everything outside. Now, it bothered the neighbors and I had to pick and choose when to run the compressor to do some practice air brushing. That did not work out and I sold the compressor to an artist friend.

    Move up to the current years and portable air compressors were needed for a myriad of garage projects from nailing, to sockets to just air. But, the noise from the pump and yes, even the air spray when blowing off a counter makes a lot of noise. To make matters better, I looked for the air compressor with the quietest decibel rating, without losing any air power. It did not make any difference as it was loud and had to be placed in a sealed corner cabinet.

    The ENT doctor also mentioned that while I was recovering from ear surgery, that I should not use any air compressors as they may hinder the healing process. But once healed, out came the portable air compressor hose for the long distance usage. The noise was very irritating and I had to choose when my wife was visiting her sister to break out the air compressor to get some different project finished. It wasn’t a normal everyday thing.

    Eventually, I got rid of the air compressor and decided that it no longer served a useful purpose. I sold my air guns and tools to keep that era from returning again.


    Any loud noise will affect how well you hear. From loud rock music to tools, it is an O.S.H.A. problem. So, we feel a little sorry that the current teenagers are getting blasted with their loud music piped into their headphones or phone ear buds. And they are not even working in a garage or going surfing, just getting loud noises blasted everyday into their ears. That ENT doctor, today would have something to say about that portion of evolution.

    Sandgroper likes this.
  18. big john d
    Joined: Nov 24, 2011
    Posts: 236

    big john d
    from ma

    if you served in the armed forces go speak to your town veteran affairs officer ask if it is possible to file a disability claim for tinitus after many years of being told i was not able to get help they finally gave me hearing aids and a 10 percent disability
    Sandgroper and RidgeRunner like this.
  19. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,736

    from Nicasio Ca

    Speaking of hearing aids, do your homework. I got mine through my insurance and through a licensed audiologist, but my understanding is hearing aids got some deregulation in the last year or two. You've probably seen the TV commercials for Hearing Assist, etc.. Somewhere around $500 I believe. The hearing aids obtained through the medical industry are more like $5,000, so I have heard.

    I was not able to choose the style, rechargeable, etc. (I got behind the ear, non-rechargeable). I had to make a couple trips to have them adjusted on their computer (adjustable to make certain frequencies more or less increased). The ones advertised on TV hook to your own computer for adjustment, you do it yourself. I believe they are rechargeable.

    I don't know anyone who has tried these, but look into it if you are considering aids. For the amount of hassle and trips I went through, I probably would have gotten them myself. They want me to go in every 6 months to have mine serviced. Seems like they really want their pound of flesh.
    Sandgroper likes this.

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