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Author Topic: one pistol shot- ringing in ears  (Read 906 times)

Offline elkboy

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one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« on: November 13, 2017, 04:10:22 PM »
Hello HuntWA-  Two weeks ago, I was doing some work up in the timber, and shot a grouse with my 9mm pistol.  It was in some fairly dense timber, and there must have been some serious noise reflection from the adjacent vegetation.  I have had ringing in my left ear (tinnitus) for two weeks now.  It is really only bothersome at night, but I am a bit worried.  What are the chances this is permanent?  Thanks everyone. 

Online fishngamereaper

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 04:15:31 PM »
The ringing should go away but the damage is done. Prolonged ringing like that means you did some serious work on the inside of your ear drum. May not be noticeable now but in a few years....huh???

Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 04:23:13 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Reaper.   I went out and got some ear protection (the plugs on a curved brace) that will be with me whenever I am firearm hunting from here on out.  Don't want to lose any more hearing, or risk more tinnitus. 

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 04:24:38 PM »
I don't know the odds but I do know permanent tinnitus from a single centerfire pistol shot is possible.  I have had permanent tinnitus for at least a couple of decades, brought on gradually by an assortment of activities - no focal event, just guns, power equipment, concerts, etc all without hearing protection. 

On the bright side, I am completely acclimated to it, don't notice it at all unless I concentrate on it then I hear the ringing in both ears.  The only real impact I (more accurately, my wife) notice is that I have difficulty with comprehension when there is a lot of background noise.

I would see an ENT sooner rather than later.  I know there is a steroid treatment for acute tinnitus, so there is at least some treatment option.
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 04:29:50 PM »
Thanks, Doublelung- Going in to the general practitioner tomorrow, and get the referral to the local ENT/audiologist. 

Maybe I can be a voice of warning to everyone out there... If you are in a confined environment, like a gully or even dense forest vegetation, there is extra risk for damage!  Also, one shot is all it takes to put the hurt on your ears.  :(   

Online biggfish

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 05:20:24 PM »
Unfortunately it only takes one. Did all my hunting as a kid with old timers that thought one shot out in the open wouldn't cause damage. I get tinnitus attacks now, the ringing comes on randomly its very disorienting. I bought active muffs that aren't bad, but I'm loving the walker razor xv. Great investment in my opinion. I've also been happy with the sonic defender ear plugs with the removable flange so you can still hear there not great for range use but block enough sound in the field for a couple shots.

Sent from my LG-K425 using Tapatalk

Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.  Gen. 27:3

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 05:34:19 PM »
This is a good reminder.  I had a similar experience a few years back--one shot with my 06 at a deer and my ears rang for about a week.  It's strange how sometimes it gets you and sometimes it doesn't.  Will never shoot a center fire rifle or shotgun at anything without ear protection again.  I have missed quick shot opportunities on deer because of it, but I'd rather that happen than lose my hearing.

Offline Igottanewknee

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 05:48:02 PM »
The most prevalent sound for me at night or in the woods is that damn ringing in my ears... Worked iron work for 20 years, pretty sure that didn't help. Oh yeah and rarely used ear plugs for shooting guns in my younger years.

Online Bob33

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2017, 05:55:02 PM »
The ringing may go away but it is likely you've done some permanent damage. Sorry, but one gunshot can do that.

https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Recreational-Firearm-Noise-Exposure/

"People who do not wear hearing protection while shooting can suffer a severe hearing loss with as little as one shot, if the conditions are right."
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline Mtnwalker

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 05:59:55 PM »
Yep it sucks, I'm 32 and have had it for quite a while already. Constantly asking people to repeat themselves 2 or 3 times before I can understand them. Also don't catch a lot of dialogue on tv and what not, if I focus on it at night it becomes so loud I can't sleep because of it.

Offline Axle

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 06:25:15 PM »
Cod liver oil is good for your ears. It will keep the plumbing moving too!
It takes a year or more but if you are consistent with taking it, you will notice over time that the ringing is slowly subsiding.
Just remember the ear protection next time.
It's so sad that this country is so darned behind on suppressors and silencers. It's beyond rude. Every big bang stick should have one.
Everyone lives off the land. Some of us simply have more fun at it.
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Offline Biggerhammer

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 07:40:18 PM »
Give it a little time, you will get used to it. 
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Offline Pegasus

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 08:49:08 PM »
Mine varies from the sound of a cicada to a hissing sound. Had it for forty plus years. You get used to it. Sort of cause its always there.  Being around jet engines, firearms, missiles and fireworks exploding in a car took its toll. Hopefully you weren't the idiot I encountered during elk season on the paved portion of the 1500 road(Bethel Ridge road) that was shooting grouse out of his car window with a pistol while his buddy was running around outside on a blind turn on a one lane road with a rifle trying to blast them. If so you deserve the ringing. If not hopefully your ringing will disappear soon. Ringing that lasts a while means you did some damage and as you age or experience more noise the ringing becomes permanent. Chain saws are notorious for causing damage. Hearing loss normally will accompany the ringing as you age and experience more damaging sounds.

Offline quadrafire

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 09:00:36 PM »
Give it a little time, you will get used to it.
Hate to say it. But he's right.
I hear it all the time but ignore it for the most part

Offline AWS

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 11:56:06 PM »
I set off a large fire cracker in the basement when I was eight and still have the ringing, I will say that shooting trap and skeet for many years without ear protection, the shootem up in Vietnam and working construction may have reinforced the ringing but it has only been 62 yrs now , I guess in 20-30 yrs it will no longer be a problem.  It isn't all bad if your married, at least you have one good excuse.
After the first shot the rest are just noise.

Make mine a Minaska

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2017, 07:35:53 AM »
Buddy, you might go see a doctor just to make sure the eardrum isn't ruptured or there isn't an infection. There may be more going on there than you think.
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2017, 10:02:58 AM »
Thanks everyone- I am headed to the general practitioner today, and hopefully get in with the ENT/audiologist soon.  Maybe I will have to focus more on my bowhunting!

Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2017, 02:12:23 PM »
Might not be the gunshot after all. Left ear 100% wax blockage, right ear 95% wax blockage. They are going to flush the ears with a special compound. No wonder the world was going dull and muffled!

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2017, 02:13:16 PM »
I guess the medic was right!  :tup:
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2017, 02:20:01 PM »
You absolutely were right, Piano! The doc said this might help clear up the tinnitus, too. Fingers crossed.

Offline quadrafire

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2017, 02:32:22 PM »
Might not be the gunshot after all. Left ear 100% wax blockage, right ear 95% wax blockage. They are going to flush the ears with a special compound. No wonder the world was going dull and muffled!
Leave it in there and you won't need to wear additional hearing protection when shooting :chuckle:

Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2017, 02:34:11 PM »
Haha, quadra, guess I will have tinnitus either way!

Offline Larry S.

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2017, 03:49:18 PM »
As others have said, if it's permanent, you'll get used to it. I got mine from 4500 rounds of 5"/38 cannon fire on a destroyer. It's a high pitched whistle that has been with me for 44 years now. It doesn't bother me unless I pay attention to it. Otherwise, I just don't notice it any more. I've tried many remedies, but none have worked for me. Still, it can be  successfully ignored and I can go for days without ever noticing it in the background. Still, wear ear protection ALWAYS when around any sort of loud noise - even lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Don't make it worse.
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Offline elkboy

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2017, 04:00:40 PM »
Thanks for all the encouragement and information.  It is kind of appropriate this came up around Veteran's Day, since (as I recently read) about 50% of veterans have hearing loss, tinnitus, or both from their service.  So, Larry S., AWS, Piano, and others, thank you for your service.  I guess this is an opportunity to remind people of one more challenge common to veterans of our armed forces. 

Offline JDHasty

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Re: one pistol shot- ringing in ears
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2017, 04:03:02 PM »
 It isn't all bad if your married, at least you have one good excuse.


Men in my family go deaf as a post in mid to late 70s.  I have always said it was a defensive mechanism against a nagging old wife.  Got my butt stomped a few times for that remark when I was a young smart mouth.  Women in my family got them some nasty Irish tempers. They also got a Mickey mouth, and God put their volume control in backward, telling them to stop yelling in your ears only turns up the volume. 

 

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