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Look after your hearing


S-Westerly
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This has probably been covered in a previous post but for any riders younger than me (most I guess) - protect your ears. If you are not already using earplugs invest in some good ones and start using them asap. I never bothered until about 10 years ago and recently I discovered that I had serious hearing loss in one ear and moderate loss in the other. In order to pass my medical needed for my job I need to use hearing aids. Over £3000 for a set. Apparently this loss is not primarily caused by biking but is caused by a range of things of which my job is the worst offender. (Constant low frequency vibrations). However biking with unprotected ears is a major contributor. Protect your ears!

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Something I've never really taken care to do anything about, but might actually invest in a pair of custom fit noise cancelling ones at the NEC show this year..


Cheers for the reminder OP, good call as it's early in the season :thumb:

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Never mind trying to stop the wind noise and getting helmets that are "better" than others.


Just start wearing ear plugs! simple! they feel awful at first but after a while you get used to them and you soon can't ride without them.


I am all for protecting your hearing, It doesn't take long riding at just 50mph for damaging noise frequencies to start affecting your hearing.

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I am all for protecting your hearing, It doesn't take long riding at just 50mph for damaging noise frequencies to start affecting your hearing.

 

There are worse things than hearing loss. Tinnitus... Which in my case is so bad at times that people think I am hard of hearing. It's not that.. For me it's the constant "white noise/hissing/low grade whistling" sound I have constantly. No history of this in my family, the audiologist blamed the bike/helmet/wind noise over 20 years before earplugs/defenders were a thing. I now wear them every ride so that it doesn't get any worse than it is. I'm ok with it, but for some people it's intolerable to the point of depression/suicide.

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I have hearing aids for hearing loss and tinnitus- high pitched whistling 😠

It’s no fun, wearing good ear plugs is a no-brainer. Customs ones with filters are best, you can still hear the engine but they cut out the dangerous bits.

It’s one of those things people only take seriously when it’s lost.

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I am all for protecting your hearing, It doesn't take long riding at just 50mph for damaging noise frequencies to start affecting your hearing.

 

There are worse things than hearing loss. Tinnitus... Which in my case is so bad at times that people think I am hard of hearing. It's not that.. For me it's the constant "white noise/hissing/low grade whistling" sound I have constantly. No history of this in my family, the audiologist blamed the bike/helmet/wind noise over 20 years before earplugs/defenders were a thing. I now wear them every ride so that it doesn't get any worse than it is. I'm ok with it, but for some people it's intolerable to the point of suicide.

 

:stupid:


Not wearing earplugs in the early days of riding coupled with listening to music through headphones has left me with a mild tinnitus. Just a low background whistle so not too bad.

But now I wear earplugs all the time when riding.

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I am all for protecting your hearing, It doesn't take long riding at just 50mph for damaging noise frequencies to start affecting your hearing.

 

There are worse things than hearing loss. Tinnitus... Which in my case is so bad at times that people think I am hard of hearing. It's not that.. For me it's the constant "white noise/hissing/low grade whistling" sound I have constantly. No history of this in my family, the audiologist blamed the bike/helmet/wind noise over 20 years before earplugs/defenders were a thing. I now wear them every ride so that it doesn't get any worse than it is. I'm ok with it, but for some people it's intolerable to the point of suicide.

 

:stupid:


Not wearing earplugs in the early days of riding coupled with listening to music through headphones has left me with a mild tinnitus. Just a low background whistle so not too bad.

But now I wear earplugs all the time when riding.

 

I suffer with tinnitus occasionally too, it's not there permanently but comes when it wants to

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I wouldn't ride without my Custom Fit guards. Yes that sounds like an ad but I don't even feel like they're in when I use them. I didn't bother on my 125 but I noticed my ears ringing after being on a bigger bike all day whilst doing my training.


When I had my moulds done at the hearing aid centre the ear wizard guy chap complimented me on doing it and said he wished more bikers had the foresight to do it. Problem is of course I think it's easy to assume it's not a big deal until the hearing loss happens.


I have never been able to use ear plugs so having the custom made guards was a no brainer for me. If you're new to all this, the process is:

 

  1. Ear wizard checks your ear for any problems using their ear microscope thingy
  2. Ear wizard gets a cotton bud with a string attached and pushes it into your ear. A weird feeling but not too bad. Feels a bit tickly
  3. Ear wizard uses ear microscope thingy to check it's seated correctly
  4. Ear wizard preps some putty stuff, puts it in a syringe and squeezes it into your ear. A weird feeling but alright. You pull a funny face as they do it. Everything goes quiet
  5. You all wait for the putty to harden (my ear wizard checked his email for a bit), and the ear wizard pulls it out

 

Here were my moulds ready to be sent off:

 

Capture.PNG.9f46a9f635b43036548aa8395d4fa00a.PNG

 

Wait two or three weeks and the postie delivers your moulds, really easy to fit as you just push them into your ear, wiggle them a bit and they're in. Here are mine:

 

Capture.PNG.9f46a9f635b43036548aa8395d4fa00a.PNG

 

You still hear the bike and other road noise, and if you have an intercom you can hear that too. But the wind noise, which is what damages your hearing, is gone.


Mine are so comfy I usually walk into work, make a cup of tea and it's not until I sit at my desk do I bother to take them out. On a few occasions I've been tempted to leave them in all day so I can drown out work colleagues a bit :lol:

Capture.PNG.f2ba8c8c58069593c10dd6d196ffd1c7.PNG

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I am all for protecting your hearing, It doesn't take long riding at just 50mph for damaging noise frequencies to start affecting your hearing.

 

There are worse things than hearing loss. Tinnitus... Which in my case is so bad at times that people think I am hard of hearing. It's not that.. For me it's the constant "white noise/hissing/low grade whistling" sound I have constantly. No history of this in my family, the audiologist blamed the bike/helmet/wind noise over 20 years before earplugs/defenders were a thing. I now wear them every ride so that it doesn't get any worse than it is. I'm ok with it, but for some people it's intolerable to the point of depression/suicide.

 

When I say hearing I mean any sort of damage that causes hearing related problems.


The father in law sufferers tinnitus and has massive problems with it!

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[mention]SometimesSansEngine[/mention] they look similar to one of my pairs where you can take the filter out and switch it for a different kind which is well worth it. I have filters for shooting and plain plugs for blocking out everything as well as mobike filters.


One major advantage of that type is the filters can be removed and the plugs washed (unlike my fixed filter ones from the hospital at 3X the price :twisted: ) which doesn’t seem important when you first get them but anything you repeatedly shove in your ear is going to need cleaning at some point or it will block up.


Worth shopping around, prices vary quite a bit.

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After about a year of using foam disposable ones I got a custom made silicon set.

One of my best bike related purchases.

Mine don't have filters, so I just wash them with some anti-bac hand wash and rinse them well.

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I use Sennheiser silicone plugs. Very comfy and very effective. I’ve had tinnitus for as long as I can remember. Sometimes riding the bike is the only escape I get from it. But without plugs motorway riding results in increased noise levels so I’m pretty careful what I subject my ears to.

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I am all for protecting your hearing, It doesn't take long riding at just 50mph for damaging noise frequencies to start affecting your hearing.

 

There are worse things than hearing loss. Tinnitus... Which in my case is so bad at times that people think I am hard of hearing. It's not that.. For me it's the constant "white noise/hissing/low grade whistling" sound I have constantly. No history of this in my family, the audiologist blamed the bike/helmet/wind noise over 20 years before earplugs/defenders were a thing. I now wear them every ride so that it doesn't get any worse than it is. I'm ok with it, but for some people it's intolerable to the point of depression/suicide.

 

Yeah, I can agree with that, I've had tinnitus since 2003 and there is sod all you can do about apparently.

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Mines the same whistley noises they use in a hearing test so that buggers that up! Did I hear it... hmm dunno maybe it was a slightly different noise to the tinnitus... hmm I think I’ll click... wait has it stopped or am I too late to click... aaargh. Meanwhile the audiologists face starts to screw up into a ball :lol:


BTW meant to ask is the hearing aid thing new to you? Different hospitals have different quality stock. My current hearing aids are up there with the best and they were nhs which they let you purchase add ons like Bluetooth boots and they sort it out for you. It’s worth asking about, if they are needed for work you can get them.

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Mines the same whistley noises they use in a hearing test so that buggers that up! Did I hear it... hmm dunno maybe it was a slightly different noise to the tinnitus... hmm I think I’ll click... wait has it stopped or am I too late to click... aaargh. Meanwhile the audiologists face starts to screw up into a ball :lol:


BTW meant to ask is the hearing aid thing new to you? Different hospitals have different quality stock. My current hearing aids are up there with the best and they were nhs which they let you purchase add ons like Bluetooth boots and they sort it out for you. It’s worth asking about, if they are needed for work you can get them.

 

Yes the whole thing was an unpleasant new surprise. I got the hearing aids privately as with my job the whole nhs thing takes too long. I'm not around long enough to go through the process and yes the tinnitus makes the audio test interesting. On a plus the aids have Bluetooth so I can run my phone through them etc.

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[mention]S-Westerly[/mention] Good luck matey it takes some adjusting to.


I’m hoping you’ve got soft open ear plugs so you can still use your natural hearing and the hearing aid is used to top up?


Either way perseverance is the key. I was 37 (9 years ago) when my hearing loss occurred overnight (yep overnight, had a virus, woke up and realised I was almost completely deaf in one ear then had the shock of discovering there was significant hearing loss in ‘the good ear’ too and I really didn’t take to the hearing aids well, a horrible din that makes everything loud and the solid moulded plug on one side made my ear sore. It took weeks to adjust but it was well worth it in the end. I suddenly understood the deaf ladies and gents I saw at the hospital who were exhausting to talk to because they were so deaf saying “yes Ive got hearing aids but I don’t get on with them”


I would say I’d be lost without my little plastic friends but it’s really rather lovely to take them out and have real peace n quiet and I confess to saying “I can’t hear you my batteries have gone flat” when I’ve had enough of listening to someone :angel12:

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I wouldn't ride without my Custom Fit guards. Yes that sounds like an ad but I don't even feel like they're in when I use them. I didn't bother on my 125 but I noticed my ears ringing after being on a bigger bike all day whilst doing my training.


When I had my moulds done at the hearing aid centre the ear wizard guy chap complimented me on doing it and said he wished more bikers had the foresight to do it. Problem is of course I think it's easy to assume it's not a big deal until the hearing loss happens.


I have never been able to use ear plugs so having the custom made guards was a no brainer for me. If you're new to all this, the process is:

 

  1. Ear wizard checks your ear for any problems using their ear microscope thingy
  2. Ear wizard gets a cotton bud with a string attached and pushes it into your ear. A weird feeling but not too bad. Feels a bit tickly
  3. Ear wizard uses ear microscope thingy to check it's seated correctly
  4. Ear wizard preps some putty stuff, puts it in a syringe and squeezes it into your ear. A weird feeling but alright. You pull a funny face as they do it. Everything goes quiet
  5. You all wait for the putty to harden (my ear wizard checked his email for a bit), and the ear wizard pulls it out

 

Here were my moulds ready to be sent off:


Capture.PNG


Wait two or three weeks and the postie delivers your moulds, really easy to fit as you just push them into your ear, wiggle them a bit and they're in. Here are mine:


Capture.PNG


You still hear the bike and other road noise, and if you have an intercom you can hear that too. But the wind noise, which is what damages your hearing, is gone.


Mine are so comfy I usually walk into work, make a cup of tea and it's not until I sit at my desk do I bother to take them out. On a few occasions I've been tempted to leave them in all day so I can drown out work colleagues a bit :lol:

Cheers for this!


I've been looking into this process for years now (mainly at the NEC show, wandering past the various stands injecting putty into peoples ears :shock: ) and it's great to see a review of how they are after.

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