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Old April 2nd, 2014, 03:37 PM   #16
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

In my experience, MPH (Male Pattern Hearing) isn't something you can do much about.... Scientifically speaking, it's "probably" because we lose ability to hear higher frequencies as we age, and female voices are naturally higher pitch... but only about 50% of the population will buy this explanation...


BUT seriously, having worked in audio, woodshops, and other LOUD places, I made it a habit to ALWAYS have a little plastic case with earplugs of some sort in it in my pocket... ALL THE TIME! It's come in handy more than you would expect - many places are loud enough to exceed "safe" levels.

Here's why - hearing loss can be rapid (exposure to an explosion, or percussive sound at close range for instance), AND progressive, meaning that each time you're exposed to high volumes, even for a brief time, a little "damage" is done, until you either suffer hearing loss (typically the highs go, so you can't hear the parts of the sound spectrum that give you the "clues" as to what you're hearing), or tinnitus (constant or intermittent ringing)... or both

Far better to protect your hearing if possible whenever you're in loud environments (same reason you should wear safety glasses in certain situations!). Sure, you may not have immediate or "permanent" damage (or at least evidence of it), but over time, eventually your luck will run out. Worse yet, as you get older, the "transgressions of our youth" seem to catch up with us in the worst ways! All the stuff you "abuse" while young will be around to remind you later of the consequences!
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 04:18 PM   #17
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
In my experience, MPH (Male Pattern Hearing) isn't something you can do much about.... Scientifically speaking, it's "probably" because we lose ability to hear higher frequencies as we age, and female voices are naturally higher pitch... but only about 50% of the population will buy this explanation...
This is what I've been trying to explain to my wife for 45 years. She doesn't buy it BUT with the precise scientific explain perhaps I can convince her. If she'll only listen to me.
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 04:40 PM   #18
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

Used to be foam plugs (I still keep a pair in my camera bag), but for weddings, I mostly rely on the tight-fitting earbuds which mute the outside sounds while allowing me to monitor the camera audio. I leave them in once the dancing starts. Hopefully, they'll keep my hearing intact.
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 09:13 PM   #19
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

I use Over the ear headphones. Cancel out noise and I can monitor the audio on my camcorder at the same time. My ears have thanked me :D
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 10:46 PM   #20
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

If in a pinch, take one square of toilet paper, then rip it in equal halves. Take each strip and roll it into balls, then a quick soak under running water. Squeeze out excess water, then put the balls of toilet paper into your ears. If too tight, tear the square in thirds instead of halves. Works wonders, and it's free! Test it right now, the only thing you'll hear is your breathing.
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 11:15 PM   #21
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

+2 for what Dave Blackhurst wrote. Sumed it up pretty well.

A couple weeks ago I was talking to an audiologist and he said that there are prescription ear plugs that musicians use. For someone who does weddings and spends time during when the loud music is playing, prescriptive ear plugs would be better than the over the counter type.

One important thing is to know that exposure to loud noise causes cumulative damage to ones ears.

Personally, I like the hearing protectors like those sold at construction and building supply stores. Over the ear hearing protectors, for me, work much better than the little foam things to put in the ear. Running the lawn mower, chain saw, working on the boat engine while it is running, playing my instrument ... I wear them all the time.

Also, my wife accuses me of having the Male Pattern Hearing loss too. I remember once when my doctor asked if I had hearing loss. pause.... Uh, did you say something?
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 11:18 PM   #22
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

I don't normally work in environments that kind of loud, but when I do, yes, I either am provided them by someone on staff or ask.

I really hate the sensation of something IN my ears. . .would rather wear thick headphones, or those kind like the aircraft carrier guys wear.

I fully believe in the practice for environments that loud, but the plugs irritate.

Just read you can get, for instance, Sony 7506 headphone. . .uh. . .headphones put INSIDE the giant aircraft carrier type muffs. There's some company that does that.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 04:01 AM   #23
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

Tinitus has cut short my music career and reduced my quality of life dramatically. I really recommend ear protection in any loud environment, as the consequences are horrible, and the damage is easily preventable.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 07:59 AM   #24
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

Josh, I believe the aircraft workers actually use hearing protection designed for such use.... I used to have a pair similar (I think the pair i had was for gun shooting) and they blocked tons of noise... they worked wonders for blocking out sounds. I tried once to put the earpiece parts from an old set of Sony Walkman headphones in the ear pieces and couldnt hear the headphones very well even though they were against my ears... seems the ear muffs actually suppressed air movement and even muffled the sounds that emitted from inside the ear muffs.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 10:26 AM   #25
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

Like Ralph says, the "Shooter's Earplugs" from the gun shop are more effective than the foam earplugs at WalMart, Lowe's etc. They have a corkscrew like design and actually screw into your ear. They work well when we have to shoot at a loud venue, like a cheerleading competition. That gig was like a rock concert volume wise. They also help when you're shooting sports and you're positioned near the loudspeakers on top of the press box.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 10:40 AM   #26
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

If you want headphones to monitor your audio, search for OSHA approved ear buds or headphones. You'll find them that cut out a LOT of outside noise.

If you'll be at fiercely loud events, like that Cheerleading event, then consider the custom made earplugs. They really were inexpensive (less than the OSHA headphones) I just went in, got a mold made, and had them in a week or two. They fit great, don't go deep into your ear canal, which is dangerous, and cut out 36(?) dB, so that the rock concert volume because a reasonable, conversational volume.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 10:59 AM   #27
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

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Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
once that ringing goes away, you will never hear that frequency again.
This isn't entirely accurate.

This is coming from a Workplace Safety and Health educator and permanent partial hearing loss and tinnitus sufferer (me).

The "hairs" in the ear that are "traumatized" by loud noises can stand back up in time. Whether they do or not is dictated by several factors, the most significant being loudness and length of exposure. This defines the Threshold Limit Volume. The louder the noise, the less time the ears can sustain the noise levels before permanent damage occurs.

My own hearing loss is a notch at or about 3.7KHz, close to the "bump" on a Shure SM58 vocal mic. Tinnitus for over 15 years. But I retain VERY high auditory acuity in the non-affected frequency spectrum - I hear VERY quiet sounds but I can't pick up human speech distinctly against background noise due to the notch filtering.

A VERY loud noise - a gunshot a foot away from your ear - can cause permanent immediate hearing damage, but so can prolonged exposure to a significantly lower decibel noise environment can as well.

If allowed to recover (no continued exposure to loud noise) the "hairs" in the auditory canal CAN stand back up and become receptive to frequencies again, ASSUMING the trauma wasn't significant enough (long enough or loud enough) to cause permanent damage.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 12:01 PM   #28
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

Thanks for a very interesting post Shaun albeit a mile away from the subject of this forum. I have the annoying phenomenon of being able to hear a faint electric hum two rooms away or our neighbour's A/C 500 meters away in the quiet of the night through the continuous ringing in my ears yet find it difficult to hear what a person next to me is saying if there is any background sound in the room such as a tv or radio or two other people chatting. I'd be interested to find out just which frequencies I've lost connection with.

For any of our younger readers this happened to me in my late forties, about the same time I started to loose my close focus vision and had to resort to glasses to adjust the settings on my cameras.

Note to Shaun below.

I was referring to my extending of the discussion away from the nature of the forum by expanding on your answer not on what you posted. These discussions often get very scatological and diverge into conversations that move away from the subject of the forum. As I've found in the past the tone and intent of posts is very often misinterpreted or misunderstood which results in bite-backs.

Last edited by George Kilroy; April 4th, 2014 at 02:19 AM.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 01:53 PM   #29
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

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Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Thanks for a very interesting post Shaun albeit a mile away from the subject of this forum.
Of course you DID notice the quote I was directly responding to...
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 04:32 PM   #30
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Re: Do you protect your ears?

I think this is an excellent thread on a potential "occupational hazard" that you usually don't think about (should be a "sticky", really!)

Hearing loss, either temporary (from short very loud noise like explosion or gunshot at close range), or permanent (from repeated percussive exposure, or longer term high db exposure) is NOT FUN, but It happens.

Ask any tinnitus sufferer, it's miserable. I've been "lucky" to have it intermittently a couple rare times, it would drive me nuts if it were constant!


With all due respect to the "toilet paper" approach (remember you have to get the plug OUT later...), which in a pinch is better than nothing at all, there are a WIDE range of professional solutions to hearing protection (with varying amounts of sound pressure reduction, not all are the same db reduction).

Whether one buys a few of the foam or cone types at the hardware or drug store so you can keep them in your kit or pocket, or you get some "custom fitted" ones (I used to have some semi-custom ones from "Docs Pro plugs" I liked, ought to get some one of these days...), having hearing protection is MANDATORY in high decibel environments - it's cheap "protection", you can't buy a new set of ears when or if you wear the old ones out....

Take care of your "gear" and it'll take care of you!
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