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Old 10-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #46
MotoTex
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Hearing loss is not the only factor. Long duration in high noise environments can also cause stress. In the 80's I made a significant number of eight to ten hour rides from the Big Bend area to Houston, chasing tail. Usually upon arrival I'd find myself all wired up and had trouble calming down, sleeping, etc. Like being jacked up on caffeine, or a six pack of Jolt Cola.

Then I read an article some motorcycle rag had written about testing for the noise level inside a full-face helmet, visor down, at highway speeds. It was something in the neighborhood of 120 db IIRC. The article stated that in a work environment OSHA would require an employee have hearing protection for exposure of greater than five to ten minutes, and that permanent hearing loss could result from extended exposure to these levels.

She-ite, I've been spending hours upon hours in this noisy environ. Yikes!

This was a wake-up call. I then had my hearing tested and discovered that my hearing was impaired.

This prompted me to start wearing ear plugs on every ride, making the same trips, and the difference was amazing. Both in lower noise levels, and in lower anxiety levels (which affect attentiveness while riding) as an effect of hours of being in the noise.

My hearing is still affected, especially noticed in crowded noisy places where I have difficulty following the conversations of those beside me. I occasionally have an episode of Tinnitus, but it rarely lasts very long.

Ear plugs have been a part of my mandatory gear for almost thirty years now. Looking back I wish it had been more like forty or forty five years of riding with ear plugs.

I'm hoping that the Tinnitus I occasionally experience does not get worse.

Hearing loss and noise induced stress are credible factors in the risks motorcyclists face following our passion. These risks can be mitigated. Knowing this and taking steps to prevent it before damage occurs will always be better than stop-gap measures after the damage is done.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:00 AM   #47
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I think you answered your own question

Dear Motor7, tinnitus is the cumulative result of
Continued noise exposure from day one. Mine is
related to a combination of vocational and recreational
noise exposure. Power tool are among the top offenders.
At first after reading Fred Rau's Touring Bible I thought
His contention of wearing plugs was FOS as I rode a
relatively quiet bike (K1200 LTC). Just traded for a R1200GS.
Big difference in noise signature! So I wear my plugs religiously.
As an Audiologist I worried about the safety aspect, however,
Not hearing is not safe either. The only bummer is being
plugged I Hear my tinnitus all ride long.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floggingsodr View Post
tinnitus is the cumulative result of
Continued noise exposure from day one.
false; it is only one possible cause.

Of those I have, two I have had for as long as I can recall, as a little boy.
Most complexe causes are cerebral, not physical.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:15 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floggingsodr View Post
Just traded for a R1200GS.
Big difference in noise signature! So I wear my plugs religiously.
As an Audiologist I worried about the safety aspect, however,
Not hearing is not safe either. The only bummer is being
plugged I Hear my tinnitus all ride long.
Ear plugs are a cruel catch 22 aren't they. They help prevent the tinnitus from getting worse, and help with the hyperacusis, for those of us who have it. But it also makes the tinnitus more prominent. The quieter bike is a bonus though. I also can't stand the racket getting stuck behind loud vehicles or bikes. Thankfully with the GS, you'll never be stuck behind them for long :).
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:32 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatpasta View Post
I think some of you are mistaking Tinnitus for heading damage. I would say nearly every adult has some ringing in their ears from normal life whereas people that actually have Tinnitus have no choice but to wear ear plugs, sometimes 24 hours a day.
If you put nearly anyone in an anechoic chamber, they are going to hear ringing. People that have Tinnitus usually are exposed to extreme dB levels for years like people who have been to war, drummers, factory workers etc
As the hairs in your cochlea over time break and die, the brain fills in this absence with sound.
Your statement is confusing..I have Tin, when I put on earplugs it is actually louder, so why would Tin sufferers have no choice & wear earplugs 24/7? Like you said, the brain manufactures the noise, so earplugs to mask it does not work.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:36 PM   #51
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MotoTex, I noticed this a long time ago. After a long ride with no plugs I seem to have a collision of different things at the same time. I feel irritated, exhausted & actually felt like I was vibrating. With plugs this does not happen.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:52 PM   #52
MotoTex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
MotoTex, I noticed this a long time ago. After a long ride with no plugs I seem to have a collision of different things at the same time. I feel irritated, exhausted & actually felt like I was vibrating. With plugs this does not happen.
Well put. That's a good description of the experience I had.
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
...Like you said, the brain manufactures the noise...
Not always. Sometimes the ear itself generates the noise. I'll get this occasionally, as the muscles in my middle ear spasm, clattering the bones together like castanets. There are a number of other non-brain causes, high blood pressure, cochlia damage or contamination, nerve impingement, etc.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:20 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
Not always. Sometimes the ear itself generates the noise. I'll get this occasionally, as the muscles in my middle ear spasm, clattering the bones together like castanets. There are a number of other non-brain causes, high blood pressure, cochlia damage or contamination, nerve impingement, etc.
Yes, I understand this but either way, earplugs won't stop it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:01 AM   #55
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54, been riding since I was 8. Been around very loud bikes pretty much since I was born, as Dad owned a bike shop & raced. If I ever had a quiet bike, I would quickly cure that problem. At 10, I had a Sachs 80 Boondocker with a nice aftermarket expansion chamber.......and no silencer! Rode that until almost 14. Road-raced for years on BOOMING Ducati's. About 500,000 miles of street riding, all with bikes that had aftermarket exhaust systems. Dirt-riding for entire riding life. Always with, well, not very politically correct exhausts. 8 bikes now all with aftermarket pipes that won't win any awards for how quiet they are. Not HD straight-pipe loud, but not stock anything quiet. Hardly ever wear, or wore, any hearing protection at all. If I'm going to be on any of the street bikes for the whole day, or on a trip (wishful thinking), I MAY put in foam plugs. Otherwise, never. End result is, some loss I'm sure, and occasional "ringing" that may last for a whopping couple of minutes. I may be one of the rare & lucky ones that have gotten away with prolonged hearing abuse and not suffered any really bad consequences. At least nothing that has me running to the Dr.
I have to go, I hear my St. Bernards barking at something. (More loud noise )

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Old 10-17-2013, 06:35 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
..........So, my question is to those that ride and have ridden a lot...are you experiencing any Tinnitus? Mine is like a herd of Cicadas & you can go to this link to find what sound your head is producing:

http://www.ata.org/sounds-of-tinnitus
Thank you for that link: mine is the "7500 Hz Tone" at about half the volume of that dial.

I have been riding for over 45 years, mostly wearing helmets.
Wearing no ear plugs, I have been working in very noisy environments (metal shops, heavy machinery, construction, airport) and have been in military service (AKM and pistol practices).

My Tinnitus has started about five years ago, and the ear doctor has determined that it is neurological (related to the nerves that connect ears and brain) and that both of my ears have no measurable hearing loss (which coincides with my periodic evaluations at the airport).
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floggingsodr View Post
Dear Motor7, tinnitus is the cumulative result of
Continued noise exposure from day one. Mine is
related to a combination of vocational and recreational
noise exposure. Power tool are among the top offenders.
At first after reading Fred Rau's Touring Bible I thought
His contention of wearing plugs was FOS as I rode a
relatively quiet bike (K1200 LTC). Just traded for a R1200GS.
Big difference in noise signature! So I wear my plugs religiously.
As an Audiologist I worried about the safety aspect, however,
Not hearing is not safe either. The only bummer is being
plugged I Hear my tinnitus all ride long.
I have both tinnitus and some hearing damage. It started 4 years ago.

Every time I am around gun fire, loud motorcycles, chainsaws etc it gets worse (ie the ringing gets louder)

It is so loud I can hear it over the gas lawn mower.

My shrink has me on klonopin so I can sleep.

Ear plugs help it not get worse, that is it. When I have plugs in, my perception of the ringing is that it is even louder. Hence, I like to sleep with other noise around (white noise machine and TV).

I'm quite the advocate of hearing protection now.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:33 PM   #58
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i were ear plugs to cut down on the wind noise plus i wear a ff helmet as i find that a open face / mx lid are louder at speed.

i have to wear ear plugs at work and i wear them on the bike to so i can cut down the wind noise and hear the bike better
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #59
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Yes, I understand this but either way, earplugs won't stop it.
Agreed. About all I get with earplugs is a reduction of noise input that can aggravate it.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:41 AM   #60
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I have tinnitus. I think it is from a noisy rider mower. It had a hole in the head gasket for a couple years and I was careless about earplugs. I also rode my scooter with an exhaust pipe that I was struggling to keep on tight ( header pipe) and that was before the tinnitus became noticeable. Sometimes I forget I have it, so it must not be too bad. There is some hearing loss in that ear. I only hear it on the right side.
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