Got Tinnitus from Shooting a Gun — Can I Safely Keep Shooting Guns with Double Hearing Protection?

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by ConnorSmith, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Dr. Nagler is not answering questions.
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    1. ConnorSmith

      ConnorSmith Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      shoot firearms
      Good evening, first of all thank you for your help in this forum.

      I have tinnitus since I shot in a range without protection one year and a half ago. My audiogram has 15 dB of hearing loss at 4000 Hz.

      Fortunately my tinnitus is not very intrusive, and I can deal with my life almost normally now.

      I have various questions because I would like to come back to the range, but I don't want to get things worse.

      It is possible to shoot guns with double hearing protection (earplugs and muffs) without causing hearing damage??

      My weapons sounds like 156 dB and 135 dB.
      Probably only shoot with the less noisy one now.

      Does it put me at more risk knowing that my original cause of tinnitus was shooting guns?

      Do you think that bone conduction can damage hair cells at that dB levels?

      And my last question is if the protection system in the inner ear gets compromised after an acoustic shock?

      I am not worried about a temporary spike, but I don't want to damage my ears permanently. Thank you for your support, sorry for my English.
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      You are welcome. Glad to help.

      In terms of damaging your auditory system, you should be just fine shooting occasionally wearing high quality muffs and plugs. Is it possible that you can shoot with that sort of protection and still aggravate your tinnitus? Sure, I guess. I mean even worrying about aggravating your tinnitus will aggravate your tinnitus. My suggestion would be to give it a try if you really love shooting, and if you find it aggravates your tinnitus, consider switching to chess? Seriously, the only way you are going to know is to shoot with proper protection and see.

      No, having tinnitus does not make you any more susceptible to auditory damage than the general population.

      I guess it's possible, but I would say that it is highly unlikely.

      Your risk of incurring any further noise-induced auditory damage should be the same as the general population.

      All the best -

      Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
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