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Thread: Hearing Loss

  1. #1
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Hearing Loss

    Just wondering how many folk here are finding themselves coping with hearing loss.

    I've finally reached the age where I'm saying "Huh?" a lot more than I should. Not severe, but with my profession, bad enough that I've invested in hearing aids.

    Sometimes it is an improvement, but other times, it feels like I might do better without them.

    Any experienced folk out there with advice?
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    The lady who fitted me with hearing aids said, "The good part is, now you'll hear everything. But the bad part will be that now you will hear everything."
    She was right, of course. Wearing hearing aids, your brain cannot "tune out" the background noise you don't want to hear. It therefore sometimes interferes with the stuff you really do want to hear.
    However, very good modern hearing aids include noise-cancelling strategies built-in, and also focusable microphones that "zone in" on the person in front of you.

    It also helps if you can teach yourself to read lips, because that technique augments and better-focuses the amplification provided by your hearing aids.
    Further, you must learn to remind people that you are deaf (or partly deaf), so that they will face you and speak extra-clearly, and maybe even increase their loudness.
    Also, I find speaker-phones much more useful that handsets, no matter that handsets have volume controls and hearing-aid-compatible, switch-actuating magnets.

    A friend of mine is almost stone deaf. He came by it gradually. His wife discovered his growing deafness by taking note of what she calls his "What-O-Meter": The number of times he said "What?" during a normal conversation was her tipoff.

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    Harryball's Avatar
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    This is a very good subject to bring up. Take care of your ears. Especially while shooting. Thanks Wandering Man for the reminder..

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    I spent twenty six years in the Army, mostly in the field. I am first hand evidence that loud weapons harm your hearing. It starts with high-frequency loss and goes down hill from there. My vanity has allowed me to avoid hearing aids so far but time is running out. If you shoot firearms, use a gas powered mower, or go to loud events such as sporting events be careful and wear some sort of noise reduction any time you can. And one other thing; throw away your kids i-pod with ear phones before they are prematurely deaf too. That kind of intense pressure directed right into the ear is lethal to the ear drum.

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    hideit's Avatar
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    good topic to bring up - check out
    gund fire decibles
    FreeHearingTest.com - Gunfire Noise Levels
    and for duration
    Dangerous Decibels How Loud is Too Loud?

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    Harryball's Avatar
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    It is worth putting ear plugs under your ear muffs....

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    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    The lady who fitted me with hearing aids said, "The good part is, now you'll hear everything. But the bad part will be that now you will hear everything."
    She was right, of course. Wearing hearing aids, your brain cannot "tune out" the background noise you don't want to hear. It therefore sometimes interferes with the stuff you really do want to hear.
    However, very good modern hearing aids include noise-cancelling strategies built-in, and also focusable microphones that "zone in" on the person in front of you.
    That not tuning things out is the most bothersome for me. My aids have a "restaurant" function, which helps a little. I still feel like I have difficulty hearing the person right next to me when I'm in a crowd.

    I've tried the speaker phone function on my cell phone, and it works well for me, but the folks on the other side complain they can't hear me very well. Suprisingly, what works best for me are the earbud/mic that came with the phone. Even with the aids in, I can cram those things in on top, and hear really well, and no one complains about not hearing me.

    Even when I'm not sure that the aids are doing me any good, my wife assures me that she does not have to repeat herself as often when I wear them. I guess the hearing aids are as much for her as they are for me.
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    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    This is a very good subject to bring up. Take care of your ears. Especially while shooting. Thanks Wandering Man for the reminder..
    As Steve M1911A1 points out, the hearing loss does come on gradually. The first loss I noticed was not being able to hear my wife.

    I've had tinnitus since about age 9. At the time, it was a single pure tone. Now, it is more like living in a field of locusts. I'm pretty good about wearing hearing protection when I shoot. At least I have been since I started shooting as a hobby. 30 years ago, not so much. I didn't shoot much then, but it probably doesn't take much.

    I think I suffered the biggest decline in my hearing a couple of years ago when I decided to join a "boot camp" to get fit. The instructor liked her music really loud. The first few weeks of weekly workouts added quite a few locusts to my tinnitus, until she finally turned her music down.

    The rest of my hearing loss I attribute to aging.
    Last edited by Wandering Man; 10-11-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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    Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    As Steve M1911A1 points out, the hearing loss does come on gradually. The first loss I noticed was not being able to hear my wife.

    I've had tinnitus since about age 9. At the time, it was a single pure tone. Now, it is more like living in a field of locusts. I'm pretty good about wearing hearing protection when I shoot. At least I have been since I started shooting as a hobby. 30 years ago, not so much. I didn't shoot much then, but it probably doesn't take much.

    I think I suffered the biggest decline in my hearing a couple of years ago when I decided to join a "boot camp" to get fit. The instructor liked her music really loud. The first few weeks of weekly workouts added quite a few locusts to my tinnitus, until she finally turned her music down.

    The rest of my hearing loss I attribute to aging.
    Sorry to hear that. I appreciate you sharing your story. I do not think younger shooters realize how guns and other loud items can hurt your hearing....

  10. #10
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    I've had tinnitus since about 17 (almost 50 years) The Army really made things worse as we were never given earplugs 'cause you boys won't have 'em in Viet Nam. Well I never went to Viet Nam, but an M3A1 grease gun and a 57mm recoilless rifle brought serious hurt to my ears. I do have hearing aids but don't wear them much, in quiet situations I seem to do fine, in a restaurant, forget it - even with hearing aids it's just a mish-mash of noise. Ear protection is a must for anyone shooting, or doing noisy things. That's one thing I would do differently if I could do it over again.

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    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    even with hearing aids it's just a mish-mash of noise.
    I think that's the thing most of us don't realize, until it is time to wear hearing aids.

    I remember asking someone many years ago why he didn't always wear his hearing aids, and he said it was because it was difficult to tune things out.

    I thought I knew what he meant, but to live it is a lot different from having someone try to explain it to you.
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  12. #12
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    After 20 years of jet engine maintenance in the USAF, I was lucky enough to have only lost the top 10%(high pitch?) of my hearing, as discovered on my separation physical. Not even enough for a disability claim. Anyway, some years later, I woke up with an unusual pressure in my right ear that couldn't be remedied by the company nurse nor any other doctors in town. As near as could be figured, was that a piece of undetectable plaque broke loose in my blood stream and went to the ottic nerve and killed off 'at least' 40% of my hearing. To compound the problem, whatever words went in, were'nt the ones I thought they were. Total bedlam for that ear.

    I was told, at first, that a hearing aid wouldn't help me. Then another doctor told me that it would help to at least provide some "balance" for the brain to register. So I broke down and got me one of those behind the ear analog types and had it for many years. Right along with all the background problems that others here have mentioned. Switched over to an in-the-ear type which worked just as well and still have it. Even dropped it out of my pocket one day after an American Legion Riders mission and crushed it underfoot. Managed to save all the pieces and pretty much glued it back together... and it worked!

    Only in about the last couple of years have I really smartened up and started using ear protection like I should. And I suppose a lot of that had to do with buying a Taurus Judge for home defense. My step sons and grandkids sometimes showed up for the holidays with their 9mm's, 40's, 22's, etc, and didn't seem to bother me a whole lot. But since I started in shooting a lot on my own (on my own country home) with the .45/410, I've become very cognizant of the need for ear protection. Heck, I've even started wearing the ear muffs while running my gas weed eater. Makes either occasion a more pleasant experience.

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    Re: Hearing Loss

    Years of power tools (saws/drills/compressors/nail guns) rook their toll on me at a young age. I started wearing headphones at work at about 21. Too late for some. I have recently boight a set of thoae custom molded ear plugs. Love them. Even wore them to a drum expo last weekend. I figure i should keep what i have left as long as i can.

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    exavid is offline Junior Member
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    I joined the ranks of hearing aids user last January. Too many years of Supercubs in Alaska, shooting, and loud power tools without ear protection. Not to mention an incident in the army when a drunken idiot detonated a flash bang grenade in the latrine. Tinnitus and a 55% hearing loss finally made me listen to the woman who hangs around here and go get checked. So now I wear a pair of Costco behind the ear aids. It was a waste of money too, once I got them the old lady quit mumbling.

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