Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Butler, Pennsylvania
    (Butler County)
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    Default NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    I figured it would be a good idea to make a post regarding an event I had (suffered) 4 months ago regarding a negligent discharge. I am fine in terms of having the correct amount of holes and everyone else in the domicile was as well. I also felt like THE stupidest idiot on the planet for what I had done. I was fortunate that nearby neighbors (apartments) did not call police regarding a gunshot- probably because this was on a weekday at afternoon hours. I loaded what I thought was an unloaded magazine into my AK (not making that mistake ever again). I pulled the trigger to test it- and at this point the gun was aimed at the ground (on purpose, always). It discharged and went through the carpet into the concrete floor (main floor no one below). This was a round of 223 remington (not 7.62 x 39mm). Immediately I felt distortion in my head and the accompanying shock of hearing 150+ decibels going off within a 9 x 12 foot room.

    It woke a buddy up and one in another room ran in. I tossed the rifle onto the bed (safety on) and declared I was OK. yada yada. I figured I was going to be evicted (I was moving soon anyways) and have the police confiscate the rifle.That tenderness in my ears persisted for about 3 days afterwards. I heard ringing immediately after the discharge but not really during the 'tenderness' period. I worked with a hearing specialist (sells hearing aids) and he told me to come back a week later to get my hearing tested.

    I got my hearing tested a week later and both ears were within normal hearing range for an average adult. From about a week or two after the event I would experience short (1-4 seconds) ringing in my ears maybe once or twice every two days. Since then, sometimes I hear that low pitched ring and sometimes I don't. It's never really loud. Usually I don't. I was told that it's hard to determine how much damage I did to my ears- and that the effects could manifest years later.

    I guess my question is this- with the half second 150dB gunshot and occasional loud metal music (100-110dB) (which never caused any hearing issues) exactly how bad have I 'effed up my hearing? I would imagine that I shouldn't be worrying as much because combat vets have come home with worse from war time- but I have to admit that I am ignorant on the subject of NIHL. I'm wondering if anyone has any feedback.

    I kept the casing and made it into a necklace as a reminder and I always tie off/tape off empty magazines and check them before testing triggers. I have not, and do not plan on having a repeat of this event. Thanks.

    -DNC89
    Last edited by Didnotcomply89; January 9th, 2018 at 05:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ercildoun, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    You're lucky you didn't shoot your eye out with that thing. My Mom's second oldest Uncle came back from WWI completely deaf from all the artillery shelling. I wouldn't worry too much about one shot inside of a house. I worked as a train engineer for five years and blew the horn at road crossings regularly when the horns were rated at 120db +. Later when I was a mechanic we had to check and lower all the db readings on all the horns on all of our equipment to 110db because of new Federal regulations but we wore hearing protection while doing all the testing. Still after years of working around loud rotating equipment my ears ring when it's all quiet. Not loudly but noticeably.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    next to my neighbor, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    I did the same with a handgun in a car with the windows up.
    I have tinnitus now but thats hereditary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Zelienople, Pennsylvania
    (Butler County)
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    This is Food For Thought for anyone who intends to defend their home with, for example, an AR pistol. Do you have hearing protection handy in the safe or wherever else you store the gun? Should you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    My ears have been ringing for as long as I can remember. I often wonder what true silence actually sounds like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    POCONO MOUNTAINS, PENNSYLVANIA, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,282
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    14619175

    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    YEP ! You will at the least have Tinnititis for the rest of your life no matter what any ENT tells you ! Medication,Surgery etc do not make the ringing in the ears go away,You will learn to live with it. Two shoots in close quarters 30 years ago gave me the ringing in the ears to this day after many different ENTs !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tioga County, Pennsylvania
    (Tioga County)
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    Quote Originally Posted by scruff View Post
    This is Food For Thought for anyone who intends to defend their home with, for example, an AR pistol. Do you have hearing protection handy in the safe or wherever else you store the gun? Should you?
    I have electronic ears right next to the gun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    USN Retired, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    Too much aircraft and 400hz 3PH 115v transformers under load.

    But VA gave me 10% for it so I got that going for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
    Age
    51
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    I'm right handed. I used to (for years) ride a Harley with straight pipes. I had an outdoor range session or 2 in my Army days without ear pro (long story, don't ask) shooting 5.56 from my M-16. When I was young and stupid I pumped '80s metal through 200 watts of Pioneer sound system at full volume in my car. I have a router table and table saw in a small corner of my basement. I've averaged shooting a match a week for over 1 years. After all of that...

    I have about a 40% hearing loss at 6,000Hz in my left ear - a *very* narrow trough on a readout. That's it. No ringing.

    When I'm in a sound booth for a test I can hear my blood flow.

    I work in an office with an HVAC system that provides significant white noise. A coworker has a mouse with a scroll wheel that provides electronic clicks (like keystrokes) when she scrolls - I can hear it when I'm sitting with her.

    Other than the fact that 6,000Hz is a very popular frequency for many alarm clocks* and other electronic devices (like my CPAP), I have no issues.

    I'm lucky. I know. I wear custom molded in-ear protection when I shoot or use power tools in my shop because I'd like to stay lucky.



    * I couldn't hear the beep from my clock if I was sleeping on my right, but I could hear the clicking of the relay inside the clock. It was enough...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    A spot, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
    Posts
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    Default Re: NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss)

    Welcome to the club, I had issues with my ears when I was younger (constant infections, tubes and such) which I believe has made me more susceptible to hearing loss. Now I always wear headphones while shooting (except .22 occasionally) but when I started hunting I did not originally wear them in the woods. So between hunting and a couple other cases I've had most likely less than 30 gunshots hit my ears without covering them all of which we outside. My ears ring when it gets quiet and some sounds on the edge of hearing frequency tend to make them ache. Other than that my overall hearing is still relatively good though not the greatest, at least that's what my doctor told me after my last hearing test.

    So as others have stated it is subjective as to how much damage you did. Some people have done way worse and their hearing is fine, others not so much.

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