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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello good people.

Quick story, I was at an outdoor range this past Saturday however the firing area was open but covered with a tin roof. The range was cold so I had taken off my ear defenders. During the cold range period I had my back turned to the entrance while reloading my pistol and some kid walked up to the stall next to me and fired off 3 shells from his 12 ga. very quickly. He was prob standing 5-10 feet away from me to my back. The kid was quickly escorted off the range and ask to not come back. Of course we all know the dangers of firing on a cold range however on the 3rd shot from his shotgun my left ear had a sharp pain and since then I have a ringing in my ear and my hearing was muffled. The best way to explain this is what it sounds like when in an airplane or changing altitudes. It is now Wednesday and the ringing is still there however the muffled noise is slowly starting to diminish. I am positive that there was some permant damage done however I can still hear everything it just that muffledness going on. The ringing is coming and going however but its still there. It is more pronouned in my left ear but I am expierencing this in both ears. I will also say it feels like there is some pressue in my left ear that will not go away. I have been trying to get an appointment with an ENT but they are booked solid until next week and even then they are reclucant to see me without a referall from my primary doc which I am trying to get. As anybody else expierence anything like this? Will this eventually go away or at least will my brain eventally equal itself out?
 

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Not to sound discouraging. But I was told by a ENT that I would have to get a referral from my Doc. Went there to my Doc and told him my problem asking for a referral , and he said you'll be OK. Wow. wasted my time, and $30. thats not the first time I've went to a Doc and they said you'll be OK. but eventually I was OK.

I picked up a heavy grate one time, and felt a nerve or muscle rip in my arm, and the tip of my middle finger went numb. I thought I caused myself some type of nerve damage, so I went in and explained to the Doc what happened. He said even if it is, its not something that will effect your life, and you can live with it. My finger finally got feeling back it in after a month thank god. It drove me crazy.

Give it a few weeks, I'm sure it will go away. and dont listen to loud music.
 

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Sorry to hear about your hearing issue.

Not a doctor, so don't i won't dispense any advice other than maybe you should go see one.

It could be temporary and it will recover with time or there may actually be some damage. Best to find out rather than letting it go and suffering possibly permanent loss.
 

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Tinnitus may be your constant companion forever. I have had it since 1969 when I was in Basic Training and firing the M14 on the range with high frequency. The ear protectors they gave us were the soft rubber plug kind. Not all that good. I have no other hearing issues but the tinnitus, constant ringing in both ears. I have to have some sound at night to offset the ringing or I cannot sleep. I can hear it right now as I write this. Never had the pain although many ear aches when I was a child. You might go to a hearing center and have a hearing test if you want to. They are often free at hospital health fairs so if a hospital in your area has one, you might check on a hearing test. Some hearing aid stores also give free hearing tests, but you need to not let them tell you that hearing aids are needed if you still hear good.
 

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OP I think I would can't to be sure the ear drum is still intact so I would start with my primary care Dr.
 

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To the OP and anyone else here who has suffered from hearing problems do to the loud noise's involved with a shooting range. I am so sorry for any hearing problems due to tinnitus etc. But I read that the OP had taken his hearing protection off!!! You cannot afford or do this no matter if it's cold or not!!!!! You are only with the gift of hearing once in your life period. Some of the problems in this story trace back to the OP taking his hearing protection off. When I am at the shooting range there are two sets of doors to go thru I put ear plugs & ear muff type of hearing protection on as well before I go thru the first door!!
 

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Mine came back after the buzzing ended. My experience is USN and big guns.

Suggest getting a pair of the electronic ear protection. Works great and no need to remove.
 

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If I was you, I'd see a doctor. However, on a hopeful note, here's the most extreme hearing issue I ever had. In college, I was on stage crew. We set up some no-name heavy metal band. Between setting up and breaking down the stage, we were also security. I was right in front of the stage between the audience and the band for the entire concert. At the conclusion of the concert and when the music finally stopped, I found I was stone-cold deaf. I'm talking people's lips moving and me hearing nothing. Scared the s**t out of me, but eventually got to sleep that night. Next morning, I could hear my roommates, but muffled and low. By the following day [approx. 36 hours post-concert] I would say my hearing was back to 100%. That was over 35 years ago and I believe that incident had no long-term repercussions.
 

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Tinnitus may be your constant companion forever. I have had it since 1969 when I was in Basic Training and firing the M14 on the range with high frequency. The ear protectors they gave us were the soft rubber plug kind. Not all that good. I have no other hearing issues but the tinnitus, constant ringing in both ears. I have to have some sound at night to offset the ringing or I cannot sleep. I can hear it right now as I write this. Never had the pain although many ear aches when I was a child. You might go to a hearing center and have a hearing test if you want to. They are often free at hospital health fairs so if a hospital in your area has one, you might check on a hearing test. Some hearing aid stores also give free hearing tests, but you need to not let them tell you that hearing aids are needed if you still hear good.
Sounds like me...constant ringing tinnitis, background sound keeps my mind off of it...
 

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The ringing and hearing loss may or may not be permanent, but when you say you feel like there is "pressure in your left ear" then something may be structurally damaged. Did you rupture your ear drum?

Ruptured eardrum - Mayo Clinic

Personally I would get off the internet and to an urgent care clinic ASAP.
 

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The ringing and hearing loss may or may not be permanent, but when you say you feel like there is "pressure in your left ear" then something may be structurally damaged. Did you rupture your ear drum?

Ruptured eardrum - Mayo Clinic

Personally I would get off the internet and to an urgent care clinic ASAP.
This is what I was thinking as well. I had several of these when I was a kid from ear infections and had a really good rupture a couple of years ago from scuba diving. If it is minor then it will heal itself in a couple of weeks. my last one was severe and took a prescription, a special cleaning with a water pick (you wouldn't believe the pus they blew out of my ear) and I never got all the hearing back on that side.

Go to a doctor.
 

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See a Doc and get a base line of your hearing range. Even with hearing protection during my time in the army and EOD, I had slight hearing losses. Then at 1500, 4 March 2013, I lost all hearing in my left ear, no ringing or pain just silence. Because of all the hearing tests the VA is working with me. Without the previous tests it would be to bad so sad.
 

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It's possible that the muzzle blast ruptured your eardrum, but not likely. Still,that's something that any physician, PA or nurse practitioner should be able to diagnose. See your regular doctor and have them take a look. If the eardrum is ruptured, it usually heals well by itself, but you'll want to have your doctor keep an eye on it until it does.

More serious structural damage, like disarticulation of the middle ear bones, it very unlikely, given the mechanism of the injury.

Tinnitus from the muzzle blast, however, is very likely. The ringing and muffled nature of sounds is the result of injury to the hair cells in the cochlea (inner ear); it will almost certainly get better over the next few weeks, but you may end up with some permanent ringing (tinnitus) and hearing loss. There's not much anyone can do about that, not even an ENT, although there are some medications that can help.

My recommendation would be to see your regular doctor ASAP and get a referral to an ENT. It will probably take a month or so to get an appointment with the ENT, which is OK because by then the tinnitus and hearing loss will be stable. If your regular doc sees a ruptured eardrum, the appointment with the ENT can be moved up to "urgent" and you'll get in a bit earlier.

I hope you get a chance to kick that kid in the butt.


Jim
 

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To the OP and anyone else here who has suffered from hearing problems do to the loud noise's involved with a shooting range. I am so sorry for any hearing problems due to tinnitus etc. But I read that the OP had taken his hearing protection off!!! You cannot afford or do this no matter if it's cold or not!!!!! You are only with the gift of hearing once in your life period. Some of the problems in this story trace back to the OP taking his hearing protection off. When I am at the shooting range there are two sets of doors to go thru I put ear plugs & ear muff type of hearing protection on as well before I go thru the first door!!
Things are different at an open, outdoor range. When you need to check or adjust targets, you ask to "go cold" and once every person responds affirmative then it is safe to take off eye and ear protection and head down range. Once everyone is done, you ask if everyone is ready to "go hot." Everyone on the range then puts their eyes and ears back on before replying affirmative, and when they all reply then it is safe to resume firing. While cold at an outdoor range, it is safer overall to not wear ear protection. It ensures that a person down range has the best chance of hearing anyone on the firing line that might negligently begin firing early and that someone on the firing line has the best chance of hearing someone that is still down range after others have returned. OP used the best practices for his location.
 

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Well said, masiaka. I always take off my hearing protection at our outdoor range while the range is cold.

While I feel for the OP and his, hopefully temporary, hearing issues, I think it is even more disturbing that some idiot walked out and just opened fire with a 12 gauge while the range was cold.
 

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A cold range is the equivalent of cease fire.
The range officer would have to make sure that everyone acknowledged his call and fellow shooters need to watch for compliance.
Hope your hearing did not get permanently compromised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for the input. Sorry it has taken so long for a response. I was not sitting at a computer after lunch time yesterday. I appreciate the 2 or 3 most recent posters in understanding the mechanics of an outdoor range. I have a pending doctors apointment on Monday morning (earliest my doc can see me). As of this morning the muffledness only kicks in with a lot or loud back ground noises. I was listening to the radio this morning on my way to work with little problem and driving my truck does not cause the muffledness to kick in. I have heard from my friends who spent time in combat zones and had similar things happen tell me they expierenced the same things and within at most 2 weeks they were completely fine. I am hopefully this will happen for me as well but I will be going to the doctor. My right ear is mostly cleared up and the problems are happening in my left ear. Keep in mind both ears had this happen till last night when my right ear cleared up. A nurse friend of mine looked at it and couldn't determine a cause but once again said that it would only be temporary but will take a couple of weeks to get back to normal. He called it a noise induced threshold shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Quick update almost 5 days to the hour after the incident the muffledeness is almost completely gone. I can feel the "pressure" of the ears wanting to muffle sounds but they don't. The ringing is still there however now it has gone to a much lower volumne tone. The best way I can describe it is like a TV left on and that "eeeeee" high pitch sound its just not as pronounced even in a quite environment. It will go ahead and I move my ear about and this is all on the left side. I am going to the GP tomorrow around lunch however it seems to have taken a drastic turn for the better. I have alos been noticing I can still hear all the high pitch peeps and what not from all those credit card machine, keypads on cell phones and all that good stuff and I haven't had any problems with hearing peple talk and making out what they are saying to me.
 

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I have a constant ringing in my left ear that pulses with my heartbeat. Started when I had the misfortune of being at an indoor range a lane over from some goober that brought in a .338 Lapua bolt action with a large muzzle brake, when he torched off a round it hurt bad and the concussion blast from the muzzle brake blew all the target chaff over three or four lanes wide. I was using cheap $8 Wally World muffs, when I examined them later I could see gaps in the insulation and the plastic cover was really the only thing between my ears and the concussion. I don't use cheap muffs any more, but too late for me.

Helicopters, howitzers, and small arms in the Marine Corps did their share of damage too, I'm sure.
 
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