Author Topic: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.  (Read 14589 times)

Offline elvin315

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Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« on: May 17, 2011, 07:11:14 pm »
No such animal as a quiet helmet. I learned the hard way. My hearing is permanently damaged. I suffer from tinnitus. People call it ringing of the ears. If only it was as benign as it sounds. It's a high pitched squeal that never wavers, never fades. I hear it above all else 24/7. I'm constantly aware of it and can't tune it out. In addition to the squeal there has been a deterioration of my range of hearing.

I have the TV or Stereo on all day to provide backround noise because silence makes the "ringing" seem louder. I sleep with the radio on for the same reason. I turn the closed captions on when I watch TV because the sound seems muffled to me. I constantly ask people to repeat themselves and use the universal sign for "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you". You know, cupping you hand behind your ear and making "the confused face".


I use earplugs religiously now though it's only to prevent more damage. It does nothing to reverse my condition. Ironically, when I wear the plugs they attenuate the surrounding noise but make the squeal seem louder. Some of you might even be on your way to full blown tinnitus and not know it. If your ears "ring" after a ride but it later fades your hearing is already damaged. The affects are accumulative. One day the ringing will stay forever. There are other causes besides motorcycling like ear and sinus infections, noise at work, and some medications. But we're bikers so I'll address that.

Wear earplugs. They don't have to be expensive custom molded plugs. Even the cheap drugstore foam plugs are pretty good. Fit is key. I use the foam plugs pictured. They attenuate the noise but not to the point of not hearing anything. Car horns, sirens, and conversations can still be heard. I used to have a CB Radio and CD Player which I listened to over a headset in my helmet and they sounded great even with the plugs. There's really no reason not to wear them. I myself find them very comfortable.

There's a technique to inserting them properly. The ear canal is curved so you have to reach behind your head with the opposite hand and pull your ear out. Roll the plug with the finger of your other hand to compress them and slip the plug in your ear canal. The foam will expand and fill the ear canal. The end of the plug should be flush, or very close to it, with the canal opening. Sounds wrong but that's the way they're designed to be worn.

How to insert your earplugs:
https://youtu.be/5nGO0qNTCd8 

Howard Leight Earplugs:




I wear them all day while I ride and toss them at the end of the day. You guys can do what you like but when you too get tinnitus don't say I didn't warn you. My greatest fear is to one day lose my hearing entirely and have nothing left but the squealing. I'll most probably kill myself.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 07:07:28 pm by elvin315 »

YoDoc

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 09:24:48 pm »
I've had pretty bad tinnitus from as early as I can remember. 28 years of high pitched permanent squealing now. It sucks pretty bad, but I don't know about kill myself bad, bro. You get used to it, eventually, but then again, I've had a lifetime of never having heard silence, so maybe it's different.

Offline Silver Connie

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 09:50:30 pm »
had it as long as i can remember. fortunately i am able to push it out of my mind. some days are bad though, seems to coincide with stress for me

Offline elvin315

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 11:07:53 pm »
had it as long as i can remember. fortunately i am able to push it out of my mind. some days are bad though, seems to coincide with stress for me

Same here.

Offline BrianM

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 11:29:01 pm »
Thankfully I learned from my dads hard lessons and have been using ear-plugs since I was 8 (when I started shooting).

For those who like audio (books, music, GPS directions, communications), these isolating IEM's are Fantastic.  By themselves, as good as the Howard Leight Max plugs, with audio going, the best way to kill a long, droning trip:

Etymotic Research ER6i
http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx



They can be had for cheaper than what they sell for on the company page.  White have a straight jack, black have a 90deg jack

Offline CigarSki®

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 05:49:07 am »
Have had tinnitus since my 20's. The pitch is on a lower scale so it blends in with everyday background "noise". The only time that I notice it, is when it's very quiet. Oddly enough, my hearing loss is minimal, consistent with my age. and, regularly tests better than than the younger guys that I work with. Loss is in the higher scales.
My tinnitus came on from shooting and a 4 years in the Coast Guard. Big diesels, small diesels, gas turbines, .50 Cals., etc.
I tend to double up at work, wearing plugs and over the ear muffs.
Wayne Sikorski aka CigarSki
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Offline sherob

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2011, 07:32:24 am »
Pretty much ATPATT now.  When I had my Wing, wind noise wasn't a factor having tunes and a decent quite helmet... amazing thing having that barn door on the front.  When I traded the Wing for my C14, I forgot all about wind noise coming back into the picture... it took a whole 5 miles for me to pull off at Walgreens for some foam plugs!  My wife was following me, saw me dart in, then out, then saw me fiddling with my ears, and a big smile cross my face... she burst out laughing, knew immediately what was happening/happened.  8)
Rob
Brighton, CO... missing Texas!

Offline AZBiker

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2011, 10:40:32 pm »
I bought a pair of E-A-R earbuds when I worked at Ruger.  I've ridden with them a couple of times on trips.  They work great, and are ANSI approved, so they won't get too loud.  Fit just fine under my X-11.

http://www.earplugstore.com/e-a-rbuds.html
rubber side down,

Derek
93 Cali black & red

Offline GaryW

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 03:33:57 pm »
Tinnitus here, too. One thing I hear from some people when I recommend ear plugs is that they can still hear wind noise.  Well, yes you will.  I suggest they wear the plugs religiously for a week or so of riding, then go out and try a similar ride to those of the past week, and leave the ear plugs out.  Almost immediately, they understand noise attenuation.  After becoming accustomed to plugs it sounds like a tornado inside their helmets.

They also learn during the week long test that the plugs work perfectly fine with headsets and normal conversation. 

Try the test and avoid the constant "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" that could result down the road without hearing protection.

I am a fan of the Radians moldable plugs ($16, 26db reduction) for most of my helmets, but always have a couple foam plug sets (cheap, 32 db) in the saddle bags in reserve for noisier helmets.

Offline Gsun

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 04:42:37 pm »
I guess I have the beginnings of tinnitus as well. Never been diagnosed, but have a constant whine. It is not bad - only really notice it when it's quiet or sitting here reading about it. Probably due listening to loud music in the old days as well as being a carpenter for 25 years. Didn't use headphones for the first few.
Still like to go out and listen to music some times. I guess I will have to put in plugs when doing that. I can see where this is going and don't like it! I do use plugs on the bike.

Offline AZBiker

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2011, 06:35:57 pm »
but always have a couple foam plug sets (cheap, 32 db) in the saddle bags in reserve for noisier helmets.

On my last long trip, I used the big yellow EAR ones.  They eventually irritated the insides of my ear canals.  Made removing my helmet a painful proposition.  The last day of the trip, I left my lid on all day and just drank water through a straw and ate snacks so I wouldn't have to take it off until I got home.

I ended up purchasing some custom hearing protection from a guy out in Mesa, AZ.
rubber side down,

Derek
93 Cali black & red

Offline dgshaffer

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Re: Save your Hearing - Riding in silence is no fun.
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2011, 06:32:42 am »
I've been riding with the EAR Inc (Iplugz) Custom fit sports monitors for about 6 years now. You have to get molds made of your ear canal and send them in so they can duplicate them. Costco will do it for free. They're very comfortable on long rides as long as I lube them with Vaseline lip balm. My wife and I have an autocom with everything piped in and I'm able to have the volumes turned pretty low and the sound is very clear.

http://www.earinc.com/p2-iplugz.php
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 02:52:29 pm by elvin315 »
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