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Old 06-06-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
Tallbastid OP
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I can't stand wearing hearing protection

I can't stand to wear ear plugs while riding. I feel disconnected, almost like I have less balance. They itch like a bastard and have even given me headaches. Anyone else in this boat? I know its important to protect hearing loss, but for the life of me I can't get used to wearing the stupid things. Is there an alternative?
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:38 PM   #2
Valker
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www.lifeprint.com comes to mind as an alternative.

These are what I've worn for years: www.earplugsonline.com
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:39 PM   #3
chazbird
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Or, you could look forward to tinnitus...something that started with me last summer. Get earplugs that work, and fit, and are comfortable. It doesn't guarantee avoiding tinnitus, but it may.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallbastid View Post
I can't stand to wear ear plugs while riding. I feel disconnected, almost like I have less balance. They itch like a bastard and have even given me headaches. Anyone else in this boat? I know its important to protect hearing loss, but for the life of me I can't get used to wearing the stupid things. Is there an alternative?
yes, there is alternative. Ride in vacuum.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
WVhillbilly
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My vacuum doesn't even have a seat.

I run heavy equipment all day, ear plugs are a must.
And I hate them.

I used to have the same unbalanced, disconnected feeling when riding with.
It goes away. Takes a while sometimes, but it goes away.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:40 PM   #6
Angry Wookie
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I had comfort issues with several different ear plugs. A few years ago I found these:

http://www.amazon.com/Nonoise-Motor-...words=no+noise

Even on long days there is no discomfort and I'll forget I'm wearing them.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:40 PM   #7
Cliffjord
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Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
Or, you could look forward to tinnitus...something that started with me last summer. Get earplugs that work, and fit, and are comfortable. It doesn't guarantee avoiding tinnitus, but it may.
yeah, this. I've had this after working around large diesel machinery plants over a decade ago. I'm sure you'll feel "disconnected" with the constant ringing and sound of crickets non stop.

wear the earplugs
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:08 PM   #8
JohnCW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallbastid View Post
I can't stand to wear ear plugs while riding. I feel disconnected, almost like I have less balance. They itch like a bastard and have even given me headaches. Anyone else in this boat? I know its important to protect hearing loss, but for the life of me I can't get used to wearing the stupid things. Is there an alternative?
I remember when I first started wearing them that I felt 'disconnected' because of less feedback (noise). But now, when I've very occasionally forget to put em in I must stop ASAP and fit them because it feels wrong to be riding without them. They just be become the norm after a short while.

I hated the disposable ones, Found then hard to fit, difficult to stay in, and hard to get them soundproof in both ears. Got some custom ones made up at a decent price by a lady who does this working from home, and think they are great. Wet the inside of your ear and then they slide straight in and stay in, perfect every time.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:46 PM   #9
ericm
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I never rode with hearing protection because it felt weird and I couldn't hear traffic around me. But on one long trip I said the hell with it, I'm going to be in the middle of nowhere with no other traffic. At the end of a six hour ride I felt so much less beat up. The difference was huge. I've been wearing ear plugs ever since.

A couple years ago I got some fancy custom molded ones at a moto show. I felt funny when they were doing the molding but I thought it was just the process. Turns out it's the ear plugs. Put them in and I feel hot and sick almost immediately. I'm not sure why they do that but it happens every time. So I went back to my cheap disposable foam plugs. You have to experiment and see what works for you.

One other thing I'll say is that I'm in my 50s and I still have excellent hearing. My wife, who is seven years younger but spent a good part of her teenage years with a walkman and headphones turned up loud, then her college years going to clubs, is going to need hearing aids soon. I can hear the coyotes howling in the distance or the turkeys up in the meadow, she can't hear them. Protect your hearing.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:51 PM   #10
Steigs
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http://www.etymotic.com/consumer/hea...tion/erme.html
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallbastid View Post
I can't stand to wear ear plugs while riding. I feel disconnected, almost like I have less balance. They itch like a bastard and have even given me headaches. Anyone else in this boat? I know its important to protect hearing loss, but for the life of me I can't get used to wearing the stupid things. Is there an alternative?
+1
Until I started cutting off the bullet nose tips
And these work best for me, softer than most:

http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-...CCGG53EEZTV3NB

Even wear them sleeping
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:55 PM   #12
hippiebrian
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They are illegal in most states.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:10 PM   #13
baloneyskin daddy
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I love riding with earplugs and won't ride without them .I even started using them on the dirt bike.Once you acclimate yourself to the serenity of not having all the garbage noise constantly bombarding your eardrums you will realize that you can actually hear important sounds better.8 hour or longer days in the saddle used to wear me out mentally . I couldn't wait to stop for the night,now I piss my riding buddies off because I want to keep going. I've hopped on the bike a couple times just to run an errand and didn't put earplugs in and hated it.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:23 PM   #14
filmfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiebrian View Post
They are illegal in most states.
'dunno about "most states", but they are allowed here, and are apparently legal in California too;

http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/...aspx?stateid=5

Quote:
Earplugs
Allowed, however a person wearing personal hearing protectors in the form on earplugs or molds that are specifically designed to attenuate injurious noise levels must be able the hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another motor vehicle.
I know mine are in right when the tinnitus is the loudest thing I hear

I use the 3M branded foam plugs carried by the home centers, they seem to work ok, and I've found them to be comfortable.
I understand the "disconnected-ness", I've experienced it, I agree with the other commenters that it goes away evenutally as you get accustomed to the lower sound level. Protect the hearing you have, as it won't be improving.

filmfan screwed with this post 06-06-2015 at 06:28 PM
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:32 PM   #15
Aj Mick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallbastid View Post
I can't stand to wear ear plugs while riding. I feel disconnected, almost like I have less balance. They itch like a bastard and have even given me headaches. Anyone else in this boat? I know its important to protect hearing loss, but for the life of me I can't get used to wearing the stupid things. Is there an alternative?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
Or, you could look forward to tinnitus...something that started with me last summer. Get earplugs that work, and fit, and are comfortable. It doesn't guarantee avoiding tinnitus, but it may.
Correct answer.

Using chain saws and driving tractors and the like without any ear protection in my youth left me with tinnitus since my early 20s (nearly 40 years ago), though it was only about ten years ago I knew it…. when I discovered the term tinnitus. I just lived with it, without knowing what it was, how it was caused, and how it can be prevented..

Now we know.

It is up to you what you do about it, and you do have a range of options to attenuate noise.

You can do nothing, and live with the consequences, which can vary from person to person. For some it total hearing loss….. but many of those don't hear nothing; tinnitus is all they hear.

For me, my hearing does remain quite acute, but I have difficulty in distinguishing what I want to hear from background noise. Nowadays I don't even bother making the effort. Conversations at noisy parties and pubs are not for me, which does affect my social life somewhat. I avoid noisy situations.

You can select from a range of hearing protection options to suit different situations and people. If one does not work for you, try another.

On a motorcycle I have never worn hearing protection, but I seldom exceed about 55 mph on the small bikes I usually ride. In the heavy traffic I usually encounter where I am at 35 to 45 max is the norm. I wear a shorty helmet for unimpeded hearing and peripheral vision.

I have, however, done 100 mph without wearing a helmet, and can report that once above about 60 the scream of the wind and the racket of the engine increases exponentially with speed.

Your choice of helmet can help.

Some helmets are quieter than others. At lower speeds a quiet helmet may provide all the hearing protection you need. The open face Nolan I use back in NZ and also in Europe is quite good, in my experience.

At higher speeds regardless of what helmet you wear, finding suitable ear protection is advisable for the sake of your hearing in later life.
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