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Westerly

Are Earplugs Dangerous to Use in Freefall?

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IJskonijn


Plus, I see no reason. I can still hear fine enough under canopy with earplugs in.



Really.

Then tell me, how would you reply if I'd shout "Hey @$$hole" at you under canopy?
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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Baksteen

***
Plus, I see no reason. I can still hear fine enough under canopy with earplugs in.



Really.

Then tell me, how would you reply if I'd shout "Hey @$$hole" at you under canopy?

Every CRW Dawg in the formation would sound off with a thunderous, "What!" ;)
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I'm back in the USA!!

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IJskonijn

The moldex plugs give a SNR rating of 33 dB, I have found a pair of corded ones (use them for CRW, where I can pop them out on exit without worrying where they end up) that have a SNR rating of 39 dB.



I think you are confusing NRR rating with SNR rating. These are different ratings.


.

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Westerly


I've felt my ears pop several times in freefall and that's with nothing in them. I would think putting in ear plugs would make that a whole lot worse.

IDK of any off-the-shelf earplugs that would achieve an airtight seal, enough to cause a pressure differential problem. It's a miniscule amount of air that has to leak past them to maintain a pressure equilibrium.

I've worn them for thousands of jumps and have never noticed a problem, or even a sensation of pressure difference.

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Im with the majority, and Baz Leherman and it shouldn't have been wear sunscreen. It should have been wear ear plugs! The problem with sound is its not what you can hear, its the high frequency sounds you cant hear thats the problem. Wearing ear plugs on the way up is to be recommended, for obvious reasons. Anyone who's says other wise hasn't had hearing problems (tinnitus, noise induced/age related hearing loss), i was 33 when i was recommend hearing aids. And i used to have what the military term H1 (excellent) hearing, now my hearings shot and i've got excruciating ringing in my ears. That ringing in your ears you get from being in a night club listening to loud music, thats tinnitus. Theres NO CURE, its like genital herpes...its a friend for life! I wear those little yellow ones you get in the tunnels, all the time when jumping, i sometimes take out the right one (audible side), and sometimes i leave it in. When i do i'm hyper vigilant of people under canopy. Also have you heard how loud your audible is on the ground, thats going off right to your ear as well. It's going to do damage over many years, and 1000's of jumps.
Look after your hearing, you'll miss it when its gone!
At long last the light at the end of the tunell isnt an on coming train!!!

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skydiverek

***The moldex plugs give a SNR rating of 33 dB, I have found a pair of corded ones (use them for CRW, where I can pop them out on exit without worrying where they end up) that have a SNR rating of 39 dB.



I think you are confusing NRR rating with SNR rating. These are different ratings.


.
My mistake (or: stupid americans for using another rating than us europeans ^_^).

The moldex spark plugs that I have (bought a box before I switched to corded plugs) have an SNR rating of 35dB, while the 3m earsoft FX (corded) plugs that I currently use have an SNR rating of 39dB.

But aside from the question which plugs are best, I still stand by my statement: It is safer to wear earplugs for the entire jump (takeoff to landing) than to not wear earplugs. The mental clarity afforded by wearing good earplugs more than offsets any potential danger due to reduced hearing. Again: use your eyes to avoid canopy collisions, don't rely on hearing.

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IJskonijn



But aside from the question which plugs are best, I still stand by my statement: It is safer to wear earplugs for the entire jump (takeoff to landing) than to not wear earplugs. The mental clarity afforded by wearing good earplugs more than offsets any potential danger due to reduced hearing. Again: use your eyes to avoid canopy collisions, don't rely on hearing.




I agree, after a freefall jump without earplugs I am (temporarily) almost deaf anyway. I don't think I would hear anyone shouting under canopy, at least for the first critical seconds.

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Maybe I have ear problems or super small ears (I do always wear XS helmets), but I cannot even wear ear plugs in the plane to 14k without having to take them out to clear my ears. I cannot clear my ears with them in. I have skydived with a head cold before (bad idea) and that was nothing compared to the pain I felt in freefall when I accidently wore my ear plugs. I thought I exploded my ears.

And for the person who worries about mental clarity - I think that is an individual thing. I do not notice freefall noise. At all. Whether I wear a helmet or not. Maybe I would have when I was a rookie but I have enough experience now that my brain tunes it all out. And my audible to me sounds just as painfully loud to me in freefall as it does on the ground - I would actually prefer to lower the volume...

But it definitely sounds like I an exception to the rule!

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Wow, I would have said impossible, that earplugs couldn't seal hermetically enough to cause pressure problems. Do the plugs jam inwards as you freefall back into higher pressures?
Perhaps some vented plugs would be the ticket for you.

I think most of us have been foolish enough to jump too soon after a headcold. 2 years ago, after another bout of sinus troubles, I had my ENT surgeon perform the rotorooter job in my cranium. Hardly a stuffy sinus since. :)

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Everyone's anatomy is a little different, how a helmet and earplugs fit will vary (and some folks can clear their ears very easily while others struggle with it a lot). Wearing a helmet that covers the ears without ear plugs is better than nothing at all, and depending on the helmet, might be almost as good.

I wear disposable earplugs on the way up, then stuff them in my empty audible pocket when I put my helmet on (G3 so 2 pockets) during the transition you can really appreciate how loud the plane is, uncomfortably so to me at least, especially door rattle (roll up type like on caravans and otters at least). If I'm just doing a hop and pop, I wear my helmet with no ear plugs for the whole plane ride. The difference between helmet alone, and earplugs alone is noticeable, but doesn't seem significant. I've tried wearing earplugs with my helmet up and down and it is too muffled for my taste (I can't hear anything in the plane, even if someone yells at me), and then my audible becomes hard to hear in freefall too.

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JohnMitchell

Wow, I would have said impossible, that earplugs couldn't seal hermetically enough to cause pressure problems. Do the plugs jam inwards as you freefall back into higher pressures?
Perhaps some vented plugs would be the ticket for you.

I think most of us have been foolish enough to jump too soon after a headcold. 2 years ago, after another bout of sinus troubles, I had my ENT surgeon perform the rotorooter job in my cranium. Hardly a stuffy sinus since. :)



The stair-stepped rubber cone type earbuds that I wear can really get some pressure difference between the outside and the space between the eardrum and the earbud.

I think the faster you go down, the more likely it is to be a problem. Wingsuiting, it is normally a problem. Also, it depends on how well you seat them when you exit. Leave them a bit loose and it is better.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Earplugs for the ride up and the ride down make both experiences infinitely better.

I wore the fancy ones for a couple thousand jumps, and I've worn the foam ones for about a thousand jumps now. The foam ones are way better.

I have forgotten my ear plugs a few times and it just about drove me mad.

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FallsFast

I am very afraid of putting anything in my ears so that I cant equalize the pressure. I once had a diving injury to my ear and am very sensitive to pressure changes.



I've had no problem equalizing pressure under canopy, whether foam type plugs or the sound filtering type. I've never bothered to remove ear plugs until on the ground.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Westerly

***Yes and no.

No, they will not screw up your ears.

Yes, they may prevent you from hearing someone screaming at you under canopy.

Use them on the ride up and take them out on jump run.

Edit: good question, and there are no stupid questions in S&T. I spent many years in manufacturing and skydiving and I believe earplugs should be worn in both pursuits.



What about wearing them on the way down? That's the concern I see. Not much point in wearing them on the way up anyway. I think the idea is to keep the noise low in freefall.

I've felt my ears pop several times in freefall and that's with nothing in them. I would think putting in ear plugs would make that a whole lot worse.

I always wore them all the way up and down. Between the engine and freefall noise, your hearing needs protection. I used the soft foam kind you'd usually find in a factory. The foam is porous, no problems with pressure equalization. It also mutes the shrill piercing sound of an audible going off next to your ear. I could hear mine just fine without the drama. Whatever your age, we all need to protect whatever hearing we have. It's precious and when it's lost, it's lost.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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