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elkoholic

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The post on hearing protection got me to thinking (I know... not again).  How often, and in what circumstances, should we be using hearing protection?  Mowing the lawn?  Running a chainsaw?  Plowing the back forty?

Then there's another big hearing destroyer and that's loud music.  What brings that to mind is that last night I attended a concert at the Northwest Montana Fair and as the music started I reached into my pocket for my ear plugs and realized that I had forgotten them.  I'm not sure what the decibel level was but I'm sure it was well above the 85 mark where hearing damage starts to occur.  About 3 songs in the tensor tympani muscles clamped down on the ear drums decreasing the sound sensed and hopefully limiting any permanent hearing loss.  The downside to the clamping down on the ear drums was that I couldn't hear normal level noises very well for several hours after the concert, but all seems back to normal today.  Oh, the concert was excellent with Gretchen Wilson and Jessie G.

Like the commercial says:  "Protect it, or lose it"

I really like being able to hear a distant elk bugle or this year it will hopefully be the approach of a grunting bull moose.  A deer slipping down the trail or the wolf howling up on the ridge.  Or maybe it's the call of a mile high flock of geese, the loons out on the lake, but maybe I could have heard even more if I'd used hearing protection when I was younger.  Maybe I won't hear that grizzly charging through the brush until it's too late.  Maybe.......

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Certain I have some damage.  Worked in a shop with loud compressors that ran pretty constant with low level drum, and used saws and air tools regularly(impacts, and air chisels were probably the loudest).  Listened to loud music regularly back then in my truck as well.  Then worked in a factory for about five years running a pretty loud production line, they checked our hearing at least once a year and I always passed the test but kind of wonder how.  

I do try to use some type hearing protection these days if I can remember before I start working.  Muffs in the 105+ heat index are just not convenient or very comfortable.  Have found that foam backer rod in a pinch will do the trick when running saws, or driving t posts to deaden the level.  Honestly think the t posts driving is harder on the ears than a lot of tools.  Grinder or saw cutting steel are others that I try to remember to use something when I know I am going to be using them.  

Here lately been using a pair of bluetooth earbuds when running the tractors, does not cancel the sound but if they are in the ears snug enough they do definitely decrease how much of the tractor noise gets through.

When shooting I do use protection, but never when hunting.  Toooo many times have had my ears alert me to something coming.  Be it the crows cawing or squirrels barking, nice to be able to hear those clues to get you ready and checking that direction.  

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On 8/16/2019 at 4:59 PM, Mathews XT Man said:

Ya, I wear them now, AFTER I CANT HEAR THINGS!... even tissue works better than nothing...if I could just get those dang "crickets" to stop chirrping🙄

This for me, too.

Too many years of too many gunshots, unprotected.  I bet just from ONE .300 Win Mag that I used to shoot A LOT, my ears have taken in 500-750 unprotected blasts from that one gun.  My ears ring non-stop now.

Today...………. I wear ear protection shooting anything but a bow or an air gun.  Tractors...……….chainsaws...…….leaf blower...……..power tools...……….  All of them.

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Despite my exposure to noisy machinery in my lifetime I think I still hear pretty well. Much better than my wife for sure (folk fiddle player all her life) and the guy I hunt with too.

There are studies out there that compare hearing loss in men vs women. Of course men have more loss due to greater exposure to noise.

What I always thought was interesting is how men vs women differ in the ranges of hearing loss.

Women tend to lose it in the lower ranges and men in the upper ranges.

I've always thought  it was a darwinian form of self preservation or maybe a gift from God.

Old women can't hear the low pitch grumbling of their husbands and old men can't hear the whining and high pitched screeching of their wives and children.

😄

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I have some loss from my time in the Corps, do wear hearing protection while working in the shop and around the yard with the mower and chainsaw, etc.  Use while hunting as well.

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