Exposed to a Nail Gun — Looking for Advice — Are They Loud Enough to Cause Damage / Worsen Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by kmohoruk, Jun 12, 2019.

    1. kmohoruk
      Nerdy

      kmohoruk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise, Ear Infection, TMJ
      Hello everyone,

      While I was out for a walk today, I walked by a small construction site. As I was waiting to cross the street I heard three loud pops and was startled.

      I realized that someone was using a handheld nail gun about 10-15 feet away from me.

      As you can imagine I’m a bit flustered, and was wondering if anyone has any experience using nail guns.

      I know they can be loud, but I’m worried now. If anyone has any info on them and if I should be worried then I would really appreciate it.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You are worrying unnecessarily as a nail gun shouldn't cause you any discomfort or spike your tinnitus especially at the distance you mention. You were outside in open space, so the sound would have been dispersed and not coming directly at you. Try to calm down and relax.

      Please click on the link below and read my post: Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
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    3. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      It is hard to know how loud the nail gun was, as there are multiple types including pneumatic, electric and gunpowder.

      I would be more concerned with repeated exposure all day than hearing it as you passed, and at a distance away.
       
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    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      What matters is not the sound but whether or not you experience louder T and/or ear fullness following your exposure. If you feel fine when you wake up tomorrow, you are out of the woods. The fact that you haven't experienced those symptoms right way is a good sign.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kmohoruk
      Nerdy

      kmohoruk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise, Ear Infection, TMJ
      Thank you for the support Michael. It did cause some discomfort and startled me a bit, but I think overall things have settled down a bit.

      Yeah that's true. I think this one was an pneumatic one and he was using it for framing, and it looks like he was just putting nails into wood, and the guy didn't have any ear protection on himself. I read online that they can reach up to 125 db!! But it is only for a split second, so hopefully no damage was done.

      That's good to hear. I hope this to be my one and only time being up close and personal with a nail gun! Thank you for your reassurance @Digital Doc .

      Yeah, I see what you're saying there Bill. I took a listen and I think I am out of the woods. Ironically, I am set to have my ears cleaned manually in a week, so who knows if maybe the extra ear wax took the edge off.
       
      Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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    6. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      you're totally fine; brief exposure to the loudest handheld nailguns from 15' ain't gonna do anything to you. Hell, being 15' from a ramset wouldn't scare me too (basmuch eitherically .22cal nailguns that shoot metal spikes into concrete)

      I'm doubtful that most pneumatic nailguns hit 125db, that's louder than my wife's .22 pistol, but I've never clocked one.

      I may end up buying one for a project this summer, if I do, I'll measure it...
       
    7. Tex

      Tex Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      I was around construction for many years and I'll just stick my neck out and say that a Ramset or Hilti nail gun for shooting plate lumber into concrete is more damaging to our ears than a higher caliber handgun, 9mm or 45. The reason I say that is that the plate nail gun is getting a blow back echo practically in your face. Sometimes they are used inside a dwelling with echo from every direction. The handgun is fired outdoors, unless at an indoor range.

      And I rarely ever saw any carpenter using hearing protection. I hate to say this about various tradesmen, but they are idiots when it comes to hearing protection. I've watched them over the years running every imaginable tool without hearing protection.

      And like others said, the OP should be fine if 15' away from a pneumatic nailer.
       
    8. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Good to know, you just talked me out of ever mucking with a ramset for any reason!

      I've noticed a big trend where I live where younger tradesmen take this stuff seriously. The guy who chops down trees that are too scary for me always wears muffs, and when I go by road crews, often the youngun's have muffs or plugs on and the graybeards don't.

      I basically use earpro for any power tools; if I'm just running a LiON drill briefly, I might not bother.
       
    9. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I don't think I've ever met a carpenter that didn't have some form of hearing loss.
       
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    10. Rb86

      Rb86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/31/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      A nail gun really set in my tinnitus so please always wear protection around them. (this was a large pneumatic one)
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kmohoruk
      Nerdy

      kmohoruk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise, Ear Infection, TMJ
      Thanks for the reassurance @linearb . I've heard nail guns that have been used for roofing and stuff and I know those are loud, but my goodness those handheld ones can be loud as well - it just really startled me.

      I was wondering that myself. I could see a nail gun being 125 db if it was measured literally at the point of contact, but I don't think it would be that loud with some distance. But if you do get one please give it a test and report back on what the db is! :)

      Thank you for the information and reassurance @Tex . The person who was firing the nail gun looked to be using it for wooden framing, so I imagine it was just a pneumatic one and thankfully not a Ramset

      It's interesting that you say that. I have a couple friends in the trades as well it seems most are pretty good with hearing protection so hopefully that's changing. But a couple either don't care or feel that they are young and feel a bit invincible.
       
      Last edited: Jun 16, 2019

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