Went Shooting Yesterday

Discussion in 'Support' started by Noah, Apr 6, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Noah

      Noah Member

      Hey guys, not sure what is going on with my left ear right now... I've never had hearing or ear problems aside from the usual ringing when exposed to loud noises.

      On Saturday night I was at a loud concert with my girlfriend that was playing jazz and latin music. No louder than what I'm used to, but still loud. Sunday afternoon involved shooting a couple hundred rounds of ammo with a friend of mine. We both had ear protection in(ear plugs). When I removed the ear plugs, I started to hear a ringing sound in my left ear. Since 7pm last night up until now, my left ear has been ringing constantly.

      I estimate that my hearing in that ear is down to about %50 of my normal range.

      I'm not freaking out about this. If my hearing in one ear is almost gone that's fine. It'd be nice to know what people's experiences are with something like this.
       
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    2. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Based on what you describe - 50% HL and tinnitus - you need to see an ENT immediately. 48 hours after onset is the so-called "window of opportunity"; after that, it is wait-and-see...
       
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    3. Noah

      Noah Member

      I'm just wondering what could have caused it. It wasn't the gunfire as my ears were protected the entire time. Could it have been the rapid removal of my ear plugs?
       
    4. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @Noah,..I use two levels of protection when I shoot. Custom ear plugs and shooting muffs over those. Additionally, I only shoot at outdoor ranges.

      In addition to what @attheedgeofscience suggested, I recommend that you immediately buy some NAC and begin taking it ASAP! It has been known to help some people when taken within 2 days of experiencing acoustic trauma.

      There's a thread on NAC: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/n-acetylcysteine-nac.395/

      Good Luck!...(y)
       
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    5. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      No .
       
    6. pef

      pef Member

      Location:
      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/16/2013
      I'd say it was the concert. I use earplugs when I shoot, and I've shot some pretty hot loads, up to .44 mags. My ears were damaged from the one time I fired a gun without hearing protection. I've shot thousands of rounds since my T began, with no ill effects due to hearing protection.

      But as others have said, get to a doc quick.

      Good luck.
       
    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      that's good to hear; do you mostly shoot outdoors? Do you double up on protection?
       
    8. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Wish we had guns in the UK, but we suck.
       
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    9. pef

      pef Member

      Location:
      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/16/2013
      I shoot indoors. Before my T I just work regular earplugs, but now I double up to be extra careful (unless I'm shooting a rifle, in which case the big ear muffs get in the way.
       
    10. pef

      pef Member

      Location:
      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/16/2013
      Yea, it's a shame what happened in the UK. Here in the US we have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and the Supreme Court has favorably expanded the contours of the Second Amendment in some recent decisions. Much of my shooting is for sport and recreation.

      But there are other pastimes that are just as enjoyable. The trick is finding out what keeps you occupied!
       
    11. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      33 db NRR earplugs provide excellent protection if used correctly. Correct use of foam type earplugs (the most common ones) includes all of the following:
      1. Squeeze earplugs.
      2. Gentle insertion until the earplugs just make contact with the eardrum (i.e. fully inserted into the ear canal).
      3. Hold and continue to keep the earplugs gently pressed in while the foam expands inside the ear canal (for about 45 seconds).
      4. Use only new earplugs (old ones of the foam type tend to lose their ability to expand).
      People tend to forget about step #3. Failure to do so means you lose 10 db of protection right there (round figure, of course). The way to test if you have inserted your earplugs correctly is to cover your ears with your hands after having inserted your earplugs; if the earplugs have been correctly inserted, then there should only be a minimal difference in your hearing threshold (i.e. covered vs. uncovered).

      Where did your tinnitus come from? Hard to tell. But if, for instance, you forgot step #3, you would have exposed yourself to perhaps 120 db of noise some 200 times (or so you mention) i.e. gunfire of 140 db - 20 db NRR = 120 db (x 200). [EXAMPLE ONLY]. And that's not good. Even a single burst of 120 db noise right next to the ear can cause permanent damage (and tinnitus). Perhaps it was a mixture of events i.e. the concert and the shooting range. Who knows...

      Personally, I would never walk onto a shooting range without double protection (i.e. earmuffs + earplugs). Note: double protection does not equal double NRR (i.e. not additive).
       
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    12. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I must respectfully disagree with this @attheedgeofscience , Nothing inserted into your ear canal should make any contact with the ear drum, that could be almost as dangerous or damaging as noise trauma!

      Foam ear plugs should just protrude from your ear canal by about 2 to 3 mm, the rest of your instructions are indeed correct.
       
    13. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
    14. Chelles
      Balanced

      Chelles Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      @RichL why is it bad if it touches your eardrum? The only way I stop my t in order to sleep sometimes is by using a foam earplug that goes all the way to my eardrum.
       
    15. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Noted. No problem. But I did say specifically "just make contact with the eardrum" (as opposed to e.g. "being pressed against the eardrum"). I actually took care about the wording because the topic has been discussed before:

      www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/it-will-get-better.5030/#post-50075

      As can be seen below, from the US military's Hearing Centre of Excellence (HCE), you typically want to have a proper well inserted fit of the earplugs (and as can also be seen only 7% got it right):

      Earplugs (Insertion2).jpg
      Source: http://hearing.health.mil/PreventionProtection/HearingProtectionDevices/Earplugs.aspx

      upload_2015-4-7_12-56-23.png
       

      Attached Files:

    16. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      Foam ear plugs suck. If you shoot you must have ear muffs.
      Seems acoustic trauma.
      Get immediately NAC & corticosteroids
       
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    17. Sjoerd

      Sjoerd Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-2013
      @attheedgeofscience

      If earplugs need to be flush with the outer ear....why not make them 1 mm longer, so you can use your fingers instead of tools to remove them. I always leave a small "lip" I can grab in order to remove them.

      Should earplugs touch the eardrum.....that is the first time I heard that. if so, wouldn't you expect differente lengths of earplugs---> short, normal and long? I can't even insert an earplug all the way to the eardrum without going to to ER to have them removed....
       
    18. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      as others have said, you should get to a doctor ASAP and see about steroids/etc. And yes, take NAC and magnesium...
       
    19. You went to a concert and next day shooting. The answer is in your question.

      Tinnitus and hyperacusis is not fun, nor is hearing loss. How is it "fine"?

      Get to an ENT.
       
    20. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Ask any audiologist who regularly advise not to put anything into the ear canal, eg. cotton buds etc, foam ear plugs, as per classics website illustration on insertion, should never be pushed all the way down in to your ear canal resting on your ear drum.

      http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/871901O/3m-ear-classic-fittingpostereu-pdf.pdf

      I have been wearing foam plugs for 20 plus years, to concerts, night clubs and just in general and you should never have to remove them with anything other than your finger tips!

      If that's how allot have been wearing them, it's no wonder so many have complained how uncomfortable they are and have given up on them all together!

      @attheedgeofscience , I would think the manufacturers instructions would be more accurate as there would be more consequence's if they were wrong!
       
    21. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      A buddy that I used to shoot guns with went almost completely deaf on one side after one of his friends boxed his ears when they were horsing around / fighting. Anyway, he never seemed bothered in the least by it, and just has a total "whatever, shit happens, I have better stuff to worry about" attitude towards it. I have often marveled at that, but there are apparently people like that out there...
       
    22. Noah

      Noah Member

      Thanks for your concern guys. Yesterday was Easter Monday so nobody was open but my hearing is back to normal now. Only a small ringing now and I've been taking some homeopathic pills which have reduced the ringing greatly.
       
    23. Sure..but these people maybe don't realize how bad it can get..Hell, I'd take some hearing loss any day over this shit. At least you can live a pretty normal life! Even just straight T ( unless severe)
       
    24. Take that as a warning sign. Protect your ears and stay away from concerts for awhile...shooting too..

      Later properly protect anything over 85 db!

      Be well.
       
    25. Noah

      Noah Member

      My ears were fully protected. I've shot for an entire day without earpro before so I'm almost fully sure that it was the rapid removal of the plugs that did me in. Not the loud music and gunshots.
       
    26. Rapid removal causing hearing loss and tinnitus? not in my experience. A little pain maybe..

      Anyways your ears, your life.

      Good Luck!
       
    27. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      If you've shot guns for an entire day without protection, then you did hearing damage, whether or not you were aware of it. Sometimes tinnitus seems like a "straw that broke the camel's back" problem.

      The noise incident that really spiked me in 2009, was probably less traumatic in terms of raw volume, than several other things I endured without incident over the years. There are thresholds, the brain is good at adapting to things until you cross a line where suddenly it isn't.
       
    28. pef

      pef Member

      Location:
      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/16/2013
      Even if it's a .22 out of a 24 inch barrel, you should wear hearing protection!

      Good luck, and don't shoot without protection! Glad that your T is going away, but realize your ears are not "healed." They are "damaged." Next time they might not stop ringing.

      Be smart.
       
    29. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      Are those dB reduction values correct? My foam plugs look the same and claim a 28dB reduction. They definitely feel like the dampen more than my custom plugs with 25dB filters, especially in the high frequencies.
       
    30. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I would say the concert is the culprit. I wouldn't use foam plugs for shooting. Use good shooting ear muffs or at least custom molded shooting ear plugs.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

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