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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all. First post.

I gave up shooting a couple of years ago due to steady loss of hearing, but I'm wondering if there's a way to avoid further loss. I've lost most of my higher frequency hearing, probably due to jet engines when I was flying, even though I religiously used the foam earplugs. Later, when shooting, I had earplugs molded and wore those, even when cutting grass - my hearing keeps dropping.

I'm wondering if there's more to it than just the "ears." We have nasal and eye cavities that could trap sound and funnel it to the ears, and bone conductance. Should we be wearing foam facemasks and cheek pads?
 

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R T Delta
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welcome to the forum.

you are correct in that, at a certain point, noise travels directly through the bone of the skull to the inner ear, bypassing the normal pathway of the eardrum, ear bones, etc. some (myself included) advocate using muffs in addition to the ear plugs for that very reason. that covers the temporal bone as well and reduces the bone conduction somewhat.
beyond that, family predilection for hearing loss/genetics may be coming into play.
i also usually recommend that my patients with progressive hearing loss take coenzyme Q10 (at least 100mg daily) and acyl-l-carnitine/alpha lipoic acid to support their inner ears metabolically. won't bring any of the hearing back, but basic science does support the use of antioxidants to slow further progression.
best of luck.
 

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Though not having any medical qualifications myself, I do highly advocate using BOTH ear plugs and muffs when shooting. Plugs do a better job than muffs but each compliments the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've always doubled up with fitted plugs and muffs. Any opinions regarding nasal passages and eye sockets? Would neoprene pads for cheek and nose mask, maybe, help at all?
 

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Resident Rascal
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It seems I remember that one of the reasons the military went to the fiberglass stock was to reduce hearing loss. Apparently the fiberglass doesn't transmit sound through your skull like the wood stocks do.
 

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I always double up
 

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Good reason to get a set of good eletronic muffs like the Peltor Tactical7. With the Peltors turned all the way up, they amplify low level sounds well above normal like probably 6dB or so (estimate.) Put in some good foamies, then put the Peltors on over them and turned all the way up, you can hear normal conversation and range commands, but then muzzle blast shuts down the Peltors and you have full double protection. Best of both worlds.
 

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Count me in on the double up theory. Plugs and electonic muffs are always on, plus I always carry extra batteries, plugs and muffs in case of some kind of failure. In spite of all the precautions every now and then I'll still get head aches following some trips to the range, especially the indoor variety.
 

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Outdoors, I use muffs only. Indoors, which I only do very rarely anymore, the word is that the increased pressure means plugs and muffs are the way to go.

What is news to me is that conducted sound is also harmful! GI3 In my rock concert security days, I used wads of chewed up paper and was happy in the theory that if they created a positive pressure, my eardrums were immobilized and there was no possibility of harm. For sure I could hear after the events, which was more than anyone else could say- it was always comical to see them shouting at each other without realising it. Made up for the minumum wage, well sort of.
 

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I double when using my rifle. Just single with shotgun, as the muffs are too big and the shotgun isn't nearly as loud.


I'm no expert but I believe the amount of shockwave that would have to be transmitted via your nose and bone and such to damage your ears would probably be enough to liquify your brain, making the point rather moot. Think about all the times people have suffered massive head trauma, such as car accidents. I've never once heard of anyone suffering hearing loss from that even if they became a paraplegic or had their skulls fractured.
 

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What ever you use for ear protection it should be at the 30 plus range. It you have sensitive ears then plugs and ear defenders would be advisable, double up.
 
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