Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Ear Plugs....

 

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scooterskydives  (D 19729)

Feb 14, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Ear Plugs.... Can't Post

I would just like to remind everyone of the importance of wearing earplugs. I have been in the sport for 17 years and it was my full time job for 14 years. One day my ears popped and I had this horrible ring in my ears and now have severe hearing loss in my left ear and it's caused by Tinnitus. I have tried all kinds of medications and there is no cure for it. I have seen the ENT doctors several times and am currently on a sound therapy. The ATA ( American Tinnitus Association ) is trying to find a cure and until then I will never be able to sit in the forrest and listen to the wind blow through the trees, or the river flow peacefully or just sit in absolute silence. It is an undecribable nuisance that I will have forever.. Just a note to students that you may not be able to wear them during training due to the need to hear the radio, but as soon as you can.. wear them faithfully... and even in freefall..!! those decibels are worse than the airplane.. I went and had a custom pair made at the local ENT doctor and they only cost $75.00 , well worth the price for protecting you ears.. I wish someone would of told me..
Have fun and play safe!!!


PiLFy  (A License)

Feb 14, 2011, 3:47 PM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,
I'm sorry for your diagnosis. I too, have hearing damage & tinnitus. Yeah, it sux. FWIW, you will get used to it. It takes time. Human beings are wonderfully adaptive organisms.


roostnureye  (D 32166)

Feb 14, 2011, 4:38 PM
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Re: [PiLFy] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

i went totally deaf in my left ear, at least you can still hear out of yours. if you think the noise is annoying, try not being able to hear anything but the ringing noise.... the ringing comes and goes, you will get use to the noise and it will bother you less over time. on the up side my right ear is super human!


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Feb 14, 2011, 4:52 PM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Huh?


jrmrangers  (B 36060)

Feb 14, 2011, 5:02 PM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to hear about your hearing loss. Im in construction and have the sponge like ear plugs that you compress and insert into your ears. I was thinking thease would be good because they are soft and also relly cheap. do you think they would be good enough?


vanair  (D 8360)

Feb 14, 2011, 5:09 PM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I wear ear plugs for freefall, then take them out so I can hear my tandem student. I quickly peel back the velcro on my wrist altimiter and revelcro over them.I can tell I'm starting to lose my hearing. Don't know if it's age(53) or airplanes, Learned to fly in a C-150 no headphones. Or time on the firing range in the service. Or freefall, I wonder how many decibels that is. After all when I or the tandem student scream at the top of our lungs and can barley be hear each other, must be damaging.


scooterskydives  (D 19729)

Feb 14, 2011, 5:15 PM
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Re: [roostnureye] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

No.. the ringing does not come and go.. it is always always there and I would rather not be able to hear and be completely deaf on that ear..


Divalent  (C 40494)

Feb 14, 2011, 5:44 PM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Is the hearing problem due to excessive noise, or to compression/decompression going up and then (rapidly) down? (You said your ear "popped" suggesting it was a compression thing.) Noise would be easy/cheap to defend against (those inexpensive foam/sponge plugs mentioned by someone above) but the compression due to rapid altitude change is a whole nother ball o wax. AFAIK, an ear plug won't do it, since the compression is your whole body squeezing down on an ear tube from all directions.


virgin-burner

Feb 14, 2011, 5:49 PM
Post #9 of 92 (4100 views)
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Re: [Divalent] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is the hearing problem due to excessive noise, or to compression/decompression going up and then (rapidly) down? (You said your ear "popped" suggesting it was a compression thing.) Noise would be easy/cheap to defend against (those inexpensive foam/sponge plugs mentioned by someone above) but the compression due to rapid altitude change is a whole nother ball o wax. AFAIK, an ear plug won't do it, since the compression is your whole body squeezing down on an ear tube from all directions.

not quite, it's different relative (?) air-pressure between inner- and outer ear, divided by your eardrum..


scooterskydives  (D 19729)

Feb 14, 2011, 7:56 PM
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Re: [Divalent] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

It is caused by the extreamly high decibels in the airplane and freefall. Once a soccer coach blew a whistle and then blew it louder.. he also described the pop followed by the horrible ringing. So im positive and also my ENT is positive its the noise.


pinkfairy  (C 85665)

Feb 14, 2011, 9:49 PM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the warning!

Smile

I wear ear plugs not only to protect my ears, but it makes me a lot more comfortable and relaxed in the plane. I'll look into the custom ones too.

I really hope you get better, I thought there were some treatment options for tinnitus so you can get more comfortable.


Hellis

Feb 14, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: [jrmrangers] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sorry to hear about your hearing loss. Im in construction and have the sponge like ear plugs that you compress and insert into your ears. I was thinking thease would be good because they are soft and also relly cheap. do you think they would be good enough?

They work good, but they dampen all sound so it can be harder to talk to someone with them in.

I use SureFire Sonic Defenders EP-3 and im in love with them.
They dampen what needs to be dampend but you can still talk with people with them in your ears.
And if you need to hear better you can take them out but still have them in your ears.
You kind of pull out the "plug" from your ear but keep the D-shaped part in to hold them in position.
And then you just push gently on them and they are in again.

But any kind of protection is good.


Skyper

Feb 15, 2011, 2:45 AM
Post #13 of 92 (3977 views)
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hearing damage is a cummulative process. You may not notice anything for years and than it starts.


shropshire  (C License)

Feb 15, 2011, 2:50 AM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Will they stop the voices in my head?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Feb 15, 2011, 5:14 AM
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
That's too bad about your hearing loss, I'll just add that I also know a guy who lost his hearing from years of jumping and flying jump planes without hearing protecton. We have one of these in the staff room at our DZ, and I make to sure to never get in the plane without a pair

http://www.uline.com/...ispenser-and-Refills

A word of caution regarding ear plugs, be sure to keep them extra clean, and not put dirty ear plugs in your ears. I heard a story once (I think on DZ.com) of a guy who used a dirty ear plug and gave himself an ear infection of some sort. Keep expensive/custom plugs in a carry case of some kind, and if you use the disposable type, replace them frequently or anytime they get dropped on the ground.

As for the use, I tend to remove the plugs before exit. Being unsure about pressurization issues, and knowing that it's hard enough to hear things under canopy with ear plugs, I think this is a good comprimise. I use them for the extended ride up in the plane, and go without for the much shorter ride to the ground. I know people who keep them in the whole time, but I prefer to have them out during the canopy ride and in the LZ.


DaVincisEnvy  (C License)

Feb 15, 2011, 8:51 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a full face helmet that I leave on during the entire ride to altitude (with the face shield up while in the plane). I've noticed that this provides a significant noise reduction, but does anyone know if the noise reduction provided by a full face helment is comparable to wearing ear plugs? (I'd just try the earplugs and do the experiment myself, but I have very small ear canals, and it's almost impossible for me to find earplugs that fit.)


Abedy  (D 10153)

Feb 15, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Re: [DaVincisEnvy] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Noise and noise reduction/protection was (and still is) a hot topic for Germany's DFV (German Parrotshooters' Assassination or somethingWink)

Fullface helmet do not provide sufficient protection at least not in the range up to 1,5 kHz. (Can be seen at page 28 of this PDF) The levels are quite high both in the plane during the ride up and whilst freefall. You can find a diagram here or here Different authors recommend custom-made silicone ear plugs with replaceable filter that will reduce noise by 15 dB. These ones can also be used when attending rock concerts Cool They are quite sophisticated and do not reduce levels in the range of human speech (~ 300 Hz) that much so that you can have a decent conversation. (Own observation, not based on measurements, but backed by this report.)
Other findings: 1 min freefall equals noise load of about 48 min ride in ascending plane and at least 4 mins in wind tunnel.


Abedy  (D 10153)

Feb 15, 2011, 10:40 AM
Post #18 of 92 (3840 views)
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Re: [scooterskydives] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to hear about your tinnitus problem. I also suffer from it but it's bearable. There are quite a lot of times where I do not notice it. Nature is a bitch, but the puppies are cute. Human beings are very good in adapting to almost all impairments. But yeah, I'd rather have a cure, especially when it's very quiet (at night etc). It's said to be also linked to stress, but as a college teacher, well... there are times when I can't really avoid being stressed. So this may also add to the problem.
Another fine trigger is the noise when a fellow athlete drops the weighs of one of the machines in the gym next to you. Instantly let my ears start ringing. I do not tolerate this "manly" behaviour of dropping the weighs after the laaaast haaaard push/pull as a sign of how strrrong they are any longer and are infamous for having a word with even guys taller than me regarding this matter. Haven't been punched yet, maybe those boys do not dare hit a 49-year-old fart, whatever... Cool But it helps and usually prevents them from further dropping the weighs.


virgin-burner

Feb 15, 2011, 10:42 AM
Post #19 of 92 (3836 views)
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Re: [Abedy] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

regarding our last conversation, you must have been quite "frhreif" to be my dad.. LaughLaughLaugh


Hellis

Feb 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
Post #20 of 92 (3833 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As for the use, I tend to remove the plugs before exit. Being unsure about pressurization issues, and knowing that it's hard enough to hear things under canopy with ear plugs, I think this is a good comprimise. I use them for the extended ride up in the plane, and go without for the much shorter ride to the ground. I know people who keep them in the whole time, but I prefer to have them out during the canopy ride and in the LZ.


Dave, just a thought for you.
If you lose your hearing or get tinitus how are you going to hear others while under canopy?

I understand what you are saying that the canopyride is dangerous, and hearing someone shouting could avoid disaster.
But i find it hard to hear people when im in a CRW-stack (without earplugs), and if you are that close to someone else unnoticed its a bad day.

I agree with you that hearing others under canopy is a safetyissue, but what if you cant hear anything at all or just Beeeeeep?
Until there are in ear types of hearingprotection with those electronic shut offs as the bigger models have i will keep mine in until i land.


Sletzer  (B 31200)

Feb 15, 2011, 11:09 AM
Post #21 of 92 (3824 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
As for the use, I tend to remove the plugs before exit. Being unsure about pressurization issues, and knowing that it's hard enough to hear things under canopy with ear plugs, I think this is a good comprimise.

That's my main concern. I've already got a tube in one ear due to pressurization problems, and I sure as shit don't want to have to put a tube in the other one. Any word as to how keeping earplugs in the whole ride could affect equlization/pressurization?


PiLFy  (A License)

Feb 15, 2011, 2:34 PM
Post #22 of 92 (3775 views)
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Re: [Sletzer] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
As for the use, I tend to remove the plugs before exit. Being unsure about pressurization issues, and knowing that it's hard enough to hear things under canopy with ear plugs, I think this is a good comprimise.

That's my main concern. I've already got a tube in one ear due to pressurization problems, and I sure as shit don't want to have to put a tube in the other one. Any word as to how keeping earplugs in the whole ride could affect equlization/pressurization?

Foam earplugs form an imperfect seal. So, equalization usually isn't a problem. I've worn them in the plane, & in free fall w/no issues. People don't usually have tubes in their ears, though. I'd ask my ENT about that, to be safe.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Feb 15, 2011, 2:45 PM
Post #23 of 92 (3769 views)
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Re: [Sletzer] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
As for the use, I tend to remove the plugs before exit. Being unsure about pressurization issues, and knowing that it's hard enough to hear things under canopy with ear plugs, I think this is a good comprimise.

That's my main concern. I've already got a tube in one ear due to pressurization problems, and I sure as shit don't want to have to put a tube in the other one. Any word as to how keeping earplugs in the whole ride could affect equlization/pressurization?

I choose not to wear them in freefall not because I'm concerned about the pressurization, but more for the other reason mentioned - being able to hear/communicate under canopy. Yeah, I suppose I could take them out under canopy but the act of taking them out and stowing them is just another distraction I don't need/want to add to my canopy ride. Even with a full-face helmet on, I'm surprised at just how challenging it can be to hear - I once had to yell at someone on the ground to get her attention when she was about to walk into my path on short final; yelling at the top of my lungs I could hear myself but it didn't seem that loud (though it was clearly loud enough - she stopped and waited). I don't need something else blocking my ability to hear well under canopy.


PiLFy  (A License)

Feb 15, 2011, 2:48 PM
Post #24 of 92 (3765 views)
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Re: [vanair] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
"Don't know if it's age(53) or airplanes, Learned to fly in a C-150 no headphones. Or time on the firing range in the service. Or freefall,"

All of the above. We can lose about fifty percent of our hair cells (Cochlea) before noticing a deficit. A simple hearing test @an ENT will tell how much you've lost. If you're struggling to hear someone yelling @the top of their lungs? It sounds like it's time to get checked. You don't want to lose what you have left, right?


PiLFy  (A License)

Feb 15, 2011, 3:11 PM
Post #25 of 92 (3760 views)
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Re: [jrmrangers] Ear Plugs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sorry to hear about your hearing loss. Im in construction and have the sponge like ear plugs that you compress and insert into your ears. I was thinking thease would be good because they are soft and also relly cheap. do you think they would be good enough?

It depends on how noisy your environment is:

TABLE G-16 - PERMISSIBLE NOISE EXPOSURES (1)
______________________________________________________________
|
Duration per day, hours | Sound level dBA slow response
____________________________|_________________________________
|
8...........................| 90
6...........................| 92
4...........................| 95
3...........................| 97
2...........................| 100
1 1/2 ......................| 102
1...........................| 105
1/2 ........................| 110
1/4 or less................| 115
____________________________|________________________________
Footnote(1) When the daily noise exposure is composed of two or
more periods of noise exposure of different levels, their combined
effect should be considered, rather than the individual effect of
each. If the sum of the following fractions: C(1)/T(1) + C(2)/T(2)
C(n)/T(n) exceeds unity, then, the mixed exposure should be
considered to exceed the limit value. Cn indicates the total time of
exposure at a specified noise level, and Tn indicates the total time
of exposure permitted at that level. Exposure to impulsive or impact
noise should not exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure level.

http://www.osha.gov/...ndards&p_id=9735

There are good foam plugs, & crappy ones. You'll know a good set when you put them in. I like Howard Leight brand plugs: http://www.howardleight.com/ The foam style plugs will give about a 30 decibel reduction. I've been on construction sites that have been very noisy. Too noisy for foam plugs. In which case, you'd need muffs. When I shoot, especially @an indoor range? I always wear shooting muffs. The loud reports can be transmitted through the Mastoid Processes (bony lump behind ears), & cause hearing damage. It all depends on how loud & enclosed your work environment is.


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