Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by Vlad Impaler, Sep 13, 2018.
Was doing a hearing conservation training at work today and this was in the intro...
Well, we all know how loud bikes can be, but what better sound than a V4! Too bad it's associated with a negative effect.
I actually wish I had had more of this kind of education earlier in life. I have some hearing loss and attribute some of it to cutting lawns and motorcycling without ear-pro in my high school and early college years. Two parallel twins were complicit. I was working in manufacturing and smart about hearing protection when I got my first VFR.
Don't get my post wrong, is was done with a wee bit of sarcasm. I'm with you. When I first started riding I really didn't use hearing protection, however most of my riding was small bikes at lower speeds and more off road riding than anything. It was until later when I started street riding at higher speeds that I noticed I would get fatigued when riding without hearing protection. Now it's one of the first things I grab when gearing up.
My wife lost her hearing due to a severe blood infection and it destroyed the microscopic blood vessels in her ears (more like tiny hairs). While she was coping with this, she had joined a few support groups fir hearing loss and she found that a lot of our troops were suffering from NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss), due to being in proximity of the amount of guns and bombs used during their deployment. Unfortunately, right now we can do almost nothing to repair the loss but do have aids that can help but ultimately, once it's gone, it's pretty much gone for good.
My wife has been keeping her eye on stories of stem cell research where they are trying to find a way to restore those microscopic blood vessels and help restore some level of hearing loss to some.
I have done a fair amount of damage to my hearing over the years. No helmet as a teen, 250W amp with 10" kicker boxes and a Kenwood pumping out heavy metal at ear ripping volumes.
Then I grew up and started riding many many miles before I started occasionally using ear protection. Now I have Hearos and they work great, but they hurt my ears after a couple hours on the road.
Everything in that training video was looking kind of late 80s, so that Gen 2 was pretty fresh when the training was made.
@ OOTV - Sounds like a rough go for your wife and the blood infection. Hope there were not more permanent effects than the hearing loss. The prospect of stem cell repair is really interesting. I didn't take your post wrong at all. I just get on a small soap box about some of my early life screw-ups.
@ Reg - I haven't used the Hearo brand plugs. I have a mixed tolerance based on design too. Wonder if you've mixed it up to see if some styles are less irritating for the long haul.
I can't do the standard cylinder cut kind or the reusable/washable, but the softer shaped ones are good for the day with me.
and definitely not doing
I think Aerostich sells a sampler pack to test drive a bunch with a single order.
Anyway.... Tell any youngsters you see that are starting riding that plugs will save them grief later in life. I could have used that advice. Better yet, give them a pair so they can see the difference it makes and realize it's worth the effort an small cost to get some.
Vlad, as far we know the hearing loss was the only negative result of her illness, she was literally on deaths door for about a week! Her age, her heath and I guess her willingness to be here is really what saved her.
Anyway, onto the sub topic, earplugs. I’ve been using a product called ‘Mighty Plugs’, they are moldable, reusable and are not pre-formed so they fit to your ear better and with no discomfort. They come in these little “hockey puck” shaped form and can be used as one earplug or doing as I usually do, take one and spilt it in two and use them that way. Not only is it less material to insert into the ear, it doubles the number of plugs you have, as they are a little more than the more common type of ear plugs.
There are two things I really like about these, one, they are customizable. Meaning, you can use more or less of the material to adjust the level of protection. And since they are not in a pre-formed shape, there is no pressure point created on the ear canal. The former is really where I’ve been able to stretch the ones I got out a little and also got enough protection for my hearing.
Although there is one caveat but nothing that is detrimental IMO, when the temperatures is really hot, the material gets soft and sometimes it can be tricky to get the material out in one piece. I had it pull apart on me a couple times but I was able to remove all the material after waiting a bit.
@OOTV Ok, I just ordered from the link you posted. I'll take these and my hearos to Mexico and see who wins. Regardless, when the hearos start hurting, it looks like this can stay in and not bother me. I think it's the plastic post thing on the hearos that make them hurt in a full face helmet with close fit.
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