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06/26/2013

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martin

Hello,

I had 2 militiary jets come over my home pretty low. I panicked and pushed the tangus part of ear into canal as hard as I could. Even with that it felt very loud and my existing Tinnitus is now worse. I'm scared damage has occurred.

My window was wide open, I have wood floors and the way the condos work it does make an echo/amply of noise sadly. I'm scared beyond scared.

Do you think I reduced the sound enough?

Tom Bergman

By now your tinnitus may have returned to its previous level, or not. It is impossible for me to say might have happened, but here are some thoughts about the experience as you described it.

Hearing damage is incurred as a function of time and volume. The louder it is, the less time it takes to cause damage. A jet engine produces about 140 dB at 100 feet away. Assuming the jets were at the legal minimum altitude of 1000 feet, 140 dB would be a safe estimate of the maximum noise to which you were exposed. Now, assuming the smart guys at E-A-R are correct, and I believe this is also a conservative estimate at 25 dB protection by putting fingers in your ears, you would have been exposed to 115 dB (140-25=115).

Now, for the time element: Assuming the jets were traveling at 300-350 mph, that would be 440-513 feet per second, so it would take about 4-5 seconds for the jets to pass over your location close enough to apply significant volume to your ears. Using the 5 second number, then, you would have been exposed to 115 dB for 5 seconds. OSHA guidelines permit a maximum daily exposure to 115 dB of .25 hours, or 15 minutes. That means your exposure is literally just a few thousandths of the amount of time it would take for that level of noise exposure to result in permanent hearing damage.

All that said, there are any number of elements to this story that could compromise these analytic results. For instance, if you did not put your fingers into your ears fast enough, you could have been exposed to louder sound for longer than I assumed, also the jets could have been lower, flying slower, or had louder engines than I assumed.

All in all, I would suggest that if your increased tinnitus has not subsided, you should visit an audiologist to have a checkup and discuss options with them. In general, I am a big fan of TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy) for the treatment of tinnitus. There is a link to the therapy on this page in our store. http://www.earplugstore.com/newsound-tinnitus-masker-pair.html

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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