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The Duke
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Years ago, I went to see an ENT doc about this ringing I have in my ears. He tested and found moderate hearing loss for someone my age. I think I was mid 20's. My father being as hard of hearing as anyone I know, I took it to heart that I didn't want to lose any more than what I already did.

I wear hearing protection almost all the time at work, especially framing. Finish work it's not so bad.

The frequency range that is the worst is actually the most sensitive to me. A skilsaw running 7/16" OSB really rings the drums. And especially the framing nailer.

I worked with one individual in Seattle exclusively, almost like a partnership, we tag teamed quite a few homes. He cut, I nailed. After the hearing test, we sat down and did a little unofficial figuring. We both agreed we went through a box of gun nails a day, more or less, for at least a year straight. Easy to do with sheathing. 4000 nails a day x 250 days = 1 million nails.

That meant I heard that nail gun "bang" going off a million times....in a year. Multiply it roughly with the 25 years I've been doing this....not good. That is nuts. That is why I wear hearing protection almost all the time now.

That is the first advice I give to anyone working for me or with me, wear hearing protection. Your hearing does not come back and they can't fix it with surgery. Nothing more irritating than someone going "what?" a thousand times a day.

I use these little dudes. So far I found them the best to my conditions.

http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-Max-1-Plugs-Uncorded/dp/B0013A0C0Y
 

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Pro
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670 Posts
WHAT! Just kidding, I wear hearing protection most times I am running shop equipment and the router. I already have some hearing loss due to a perforated ear drum from an ear infection so I probably should wear it all the time, even though I am not running the saws or nailers all the time like you are.

Bill
 

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16,403 Posts
I should start wearing it more often. Im supprised my ears are as good as they are after going to stupidly loud nights clubs for 15+ years and being a DJ with the headphones cranked up to the max. Perhaps everyone who posts on here can post the type of ear plug/muffs they are using. I cant find any i like.
 

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strat hd
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1,695 Posts
I'm one of those people that say what more often than most. Actually alot more. I played in bands before constuction plus I have a very loud home theatre. Think I'm going to start wearing protection before it's toooo late.

Thanks for the wake up call.
 

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HUHHHHHHHHH what did you say????
Actually I wish I wore them more when I first started, might have saved some of my hearing!!
 

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Super Moderator
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10,672 Posts
I only wear them if I am doing something that will be louder than normal. Normal being jobsite noises such as: skilsaw, framing nailer, compressor, generator, etc. I worry more about eye and fall protection. Guess I feel I could get by with moderate hearing loss.
 

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Want to play a game?
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4,522 Posts
I have always worn something like these even when I was first starting out. Guys would always make fun but I didn't care. I like these because you can put them on and take them off easily if you want to talk to someone or something like that.
 

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Super Moderator
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10,672 Posts
Saw that ryobi makes a pr that self adjusts so that you can hear someone talking, but it blocks out all the loud noises. Guess it works on some kind of delay. Buddy of mine had a set and I checked them out.
 

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Super Moderator
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10,672 Posts
I only tried them for a second. But it was cool to have the noise from the tilesaw blocked out, but when someone spoke to me, I heard them clearly. I think they run about 60 bucks so the price seems ok.
 

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KemoSabe
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14,233 Posts
I try to wear protection whenever I am using power tools. I have substantial hearing loss in my left ear, some cumulative, most due to a powder actuated nailer fired in an enclosed building with no hearing protection. Fired one shot, ear has been ringing ever since 2001.:furious:
 

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Sawdust Sweeper
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690 Posts
I don't most of the time, kind of stupid really. My wife gets after me about it all the time. I wear ear plugs when I am running my thickness planer or using a ramset but most of the time I don't. Stupidity running rampant I suppose...
 

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Structural Engineer
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513 Posts
I damaged my ears when I was 18, doing landscaping (backpack blower). I'm 42, and ever since that summer I have had a constant ringing going on. It's always there. When I shut my eyes at night, when I wake up, all day long. I can't handle quiet rooms or spaces. I have to have a little white noise going on in the back ground, otherwise I'll start to freak. I bought my kids the cheapo Home Depot ear muffs and safety glasses just to get them used to seeing them and wearing them, and the little bags of plugs are everywhere in my house, so hopefully when they get older they'll be used to them, like wearing socks, and not something they'll shun for being uncool or foreign. My 8 year old can roll his own foam plugs and insert them.

Now I keep a box of plugs-on-a-string under the back seat of the truck, next to the first aid kit. I also keep a set tied to the lanyard of my safety glasses, and I'm in the habit now that I put those around my neck at 0600 when I get in the truck, before the key gets turned, and take them off when I pull in my driveway. Rest of the day I have them around my neck, no matter if I'm taking a dump or depositing a check at the bank.

But it is too late me. The damage is done and will always be there. I wear them just so it doesn't get worse.
 

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Design Build
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8,290 Posts
When I enlisted in the Army in 95, the screening medics told me I had lost 40% at 6000hz in my right ear. I am betting that is from all the circular saw work I had done prior without regard to hearing protection.

I do have some nice custom molded silicone ear plugs that were injection molded. I only use them for rotary hammering or shooting. Other than that, I just tough it out. Dumb, I know.
 

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440 Posts
I use a Husqvarna forestry helmet. I would think it would be good for other trades because it offers eye protection as well, no glasses to fog up. Cost is around $40.
 

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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Does it have another version with a solid facemask instead of the mesh mask?
 

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Husqvarna also makes a construction helmet. Price is about the same. The advantages of the mesh are better ventilation, better visibility (doesn't scratch) and it's easier to keep clean.
 

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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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55,609 Posts
Well, working in front of a tablesaw it might let the fine high speed dust through. Not that I would usually need a hard hat in the shop, but it does hold everything together.
 

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Funny, I just had a hearing test and the Doc says everything is fine, I said "huh?" She says I must have a lazy ear :rolleyes:

I have AO Safety plugs, the kind on a solid band, and have them stashed strategically about. I cannot stand having them in all the time but these are easy to slip on and off when necessary.
 

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