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Question about shooting with Tinnitus.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by L308, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. L308

    L308 Albany, Oregon New Member

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    About six weeks ago I developed Tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I have been shooting for around 30 years, and most of that time I have been good about wearing ear protection. Most of my shooting has been trap with some rifle and handgun mixed in.

    The medical evaluation isn’t completed yet so it’s possible there may be a curable cause for the condition.

    Has anyone here developed tinnitus and been able to keep shooting?
     
  2. Solomon

    Solomon Vancouver Active Member

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    Why couldn't you keep shooting, as long as you use adequate hearing protection?
     
  3. billgrigsby24

    billgrigsby24 Beaverton, Or Active Member

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    My dad has it and it's not a fun thing to deal with. He doubled up on hearing protection...the kind you stuff in your ears and ear muffs over the top. Quiets it down well enough to not cause issues.
     
  4. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Right ear has been ringing for years now. Never bothers me when I'm shooting...only when I'm sitting somewhere quiet. The assortment of pills don't work. Ya get use to it.
     
  5. speeddemon94

    speeddemon94 The Rogue Well-Known Member

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    Uh, yeah. I developed it in the Army...You can shoot with tinnitus, and no ear pro. I don't have any problem with ear pro in.
     
  6. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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  7. L308

    L308 Albany, Oregon New Member

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    That’s a good question. I haven’t asked the Doctor yet, but info on the internet says people with Tinnitus are supposed to avoid load noises to keep the condition from getting worse.
    I am hoping I can keep shooting by continuing to use hearing protection; and I am wondering if anyone has actually done that without making it worse.
     
  8. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    tinnitus is typically caused by malfunction of the middle ear "hair cells"... there is no real sound being detected, but the hair cells in the middle ear are transmitting a signal to the brain as if there is sound being detected...

    there are some reversible causes (ear infection, eustachian tube dysfunction) but most tinnitus is permanent...

    there is a relationship to hearing loss and tinnitus... so getting a hearing test is important... not to cure the tinnitus but to document how much hearing loss has occurred...

    sinus and ear infections, trauma, pressure changes, loud noises from machinery and industrial sources, loud music particularly from headphones as well as idiopathic (unknown) are some of the causes of tinnitus...

    should not affect your shooting, but sometimes balance problems/vertigo can occur as well...

    the best way to gets some sleep if you have tinnitus is to have background noise louder than your tinnitus perceived sound...
     
  9. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I cannot speak about tinnitus but I lost about 70% of the hearing in my right ear a few years ago due to surgery but it seems my sensitivity to firearm report got worse. Regardless it is now hearing protection for just about all shooting except for the times when I may have a 30-30 or .22 in the pickup when out poking around and I stop for a few pot-shots at random targets. I keep my 30-30 reloads to about 2000 fps or less and that makes a big difference in the report over factory velocities.
     
  10. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    after forty years of rock&roll, air tools and shooting without ear protection i can honestly say WHAT? and mean it!
     
  11. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    As a kid I never used hearing protection shooting, spent a lot of years of construction around loud equipment constantly. My ears ring all the time and the quieter it is around me the worse it is. In my older and wiser years I dont shoot anything without at the very least earplugs. Shooting doesnt seem to make a difference to me now, but I wouldnt even shoot a 22 without protection.
     
  12. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    I've had tinnitus for over 20 years. I always use at least foam earplugs when shooting - and double up with deadphones for louder weps or indoors at the club. As far as I can tell, that has not worsened my condition in 2 decades.

    What did make it far worse was playing guitar in a garage rock band, performing monthly at dancefloor volume. Especially with the drummer always on my left side, where the damage is noticably worse. I also spent about a year working on my own drum skills 3-4 times a week and eventually had to knock it all off. So now my primary passion and hobby since 1970 is just not worth doing any longer because of the undeniable damage.

    My verdict? Crushing volume is bad enough, but the worst culprit is cymbals at close range (same room).

    Tell your kids that some old fart they'll never know said to think back and remember the way their ears rang coming out of their first loud concert, multiply it by 10-20 and make it last forever 24/7. Plainly, it sucks. I'm not quite 60 and I'll never hear silence again.

    The good news is that shooting with adequate (or extra) ear protection makes it no worse.
     
  13. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Earplugs + Electronics and damn it sucks.

    Makes it difficult to hear range commands and carry on a conversation at the range. Get home from the range and the ringing is still 2-3x worse than normal for hours.

    If you have the means, get yourself some suppressors. I can shoot 9mm and 45acp suppressed with no earplugs and it doesn't cause issues.

    If it were not for tinnitus I would go shooting 3x more than I do. Certain rifles and pistols are a no-go even with doubled up hearing protection. I am selling a Panther 308 simply because I can't enjoy shooting it.

    All started when I was 13 and a jackass shot off a dear rifle by my ear.

    If you are in the early stages of tinnitus, the next time you make any mistake, fire off a gun w/o protection, etc, you will be joining the rest of us sufferers in the full-time louder than he11 dept. Many people suicide themselves over it, it is that serious.
     
  14. SVT-ROY

    SVT-ROY Tigard Resident Beretta guru

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    Ahha that's why you made me the test mule at the range. Now it all makes sense.
     
    Burt Gummer and (deleted member) like this.
  15. xlsbob

    xlsbob coos county Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    You know you have tinnitus when the ringing in your ears is louder than the voices in your head.
     
    bcdon and (deleted member) like this.
  16. skywag

    skywag On the Columbia River Active Member

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    No one knows the cause of tinnitus.
    People, like me, subjected to loud noises throughout their life, are likely to get it.
    There is no cure.
    Eventually you kind of get used to it.
    You will be able to keep on shooting.
    Always use ear protection.
    Don't let it drive you crazy.
     
  17. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    I use military ear pulgs and electronic muffs. Just do not shoot without any protection at all.

    I have multipul levels of rings, hisses, chirps and other noises in my ears all the time. I live in a very quiet area, if there is any noise at all, I'm the one making it...or my stove blower this time of year. I find it interesting trying to figure out where each of those originated. I'm sure some came from shooting but the majority have other causes (mostly military i'm guessing)

    One of these years I'll go down to the VA and get some hearing aids as these sounds do make hearing voices difficult.
     
  18. speeddemon94

    speeddemon94 The Rogue Well-Known Member

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    The tinnitus is what keeps me from hearing the voices :bluelaugh:
     
  19. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My late friend had tinnitus for about 25 years before he passed. He just used the best quality ear muffs he could find and doubled up for magnum revolvers and it wasn't a big issue for him. I do remember that he slept with a radio on because that was when it bothered him the most. Good luck with your condition, I hope that there is some treatment to give you some relief.
     
  20. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ex-Air Force. Developed tenitus while on the flight line. Get's very loud under jet engines. Anyway, I have no problem shooting, as long as I wear hearing protection. I have seen commercials recently saying they have homeopathic remedies for sale, but haven't heard from anyone I now regarding results.

    It was interesting when I got out. A friend and I went out shooting and we forgot hearing protection. We shot anyway, and for about a day he complained about ringing, but for me it was normal by then so I guess I didn't notice. Funny thing is, the only time it really bothers me is when it is totally silent. That is when the ringing is the loudest, and noticeable. Anyway, I hope you are doing well and will find a way to cope. Good luck.