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Old March 4, 2012, 06:25 PM   #21
Join Date: November 24, 2011
Location: VA
Posts: 66
I know this an old thread but it's always good to remind shooters about hearing loss and tinnitus.

I don't know what I would do if my tinnitus went away after twenty years... it'd be so quiet! I guess I'd jump for joy and do some kind of a jig.

I was first struck with tinnitus when I was 19 years old and sitting in the driver's hole of an M1A1 tank in the middle of winter. I had my hatch cracked 'cause the tank commander insisted on me having the heater running full blast and it was over 100 degree in my driver's hole despite it being 20 degrees outside. Anyway, I was half-asleep from the heat and didn't hear the fire command until it was too late for me to close the hatch. That 120 mm cannon was about two feet above my head and went off. The ringing in my ears started right then, despite my having a CVC helmet with earcups on.

I've never found a cure, and I have it all the time. Those herbal pills for it you can get at a lot of the pharmacy chains does knock it down a few notches... but it's ridiculously expensive. Same thing with going for real acupuncture... it takes it down a few levels but it's not a permanent fix. I think once you have it you are stuck with it.

Take it from a former tank crewman. If you don't have hearing damage yet, try to prevent it. It sucks. So, when you shoot put on your ears (hearing protection). To be on the safe side, use both ear plugs and the shooting muffs.

For ear plugs, I recommend the silicone moldable style (Mack's, for example) you can get at any drugstore. Despite the warnings on those about applying them just on the outside area of your ears, I recommend taking one plug and pulling it into two pieces, then roll each half into a shallow cone shape and stuff that (narrow end first, duh) into each ear. I've never had much of an issue with getting them back out.
CarbineWilliams is offline  
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