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  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Apr 2004
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    SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
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    Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23 and L3800 Craftsman Mower, Deere 350C Dozer

    Default Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    Thought I would post what I learned about my hearing loss...

    I'm always very safety conscious and have no problem buying my own protective gear.

    This year, I had a lot more outdoor tractor/equipment projects so I wore my shooters "Ear Muff" hearing protectors a lot.

    After I was done, I would hang them on a nail in the barn or on the tractor.

    I've had antibiotics four time in my life and 3 of the 4 were this year due to ear infections... left side, right side and then left side.

    It is my Doctors opinion that leaving my hearing protection in a damp barn and then wearing it for hours at a time is the reason for my sudden problems...

    I looked inside very carefully in bright light and could see discoloration...

    Just wanted to put this out there.

    Doc said to bring them inside the house, don't store them in dark/damp location and wipe them down with alcohol occasionally. (Didn't recommend a brand... ;-)

    Hearing is slowly coming back... it was a shock to go from excellent hearing to not being about to understand conversation or the TV...

  2. #2
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    1,230
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    Pilot Hill, CA.
    Tractor
    Kubota B21

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    I bought a big box of disposable foam ear plugs. Keep a few dozen in the toolbox (each pair encased in plastic) and grab a pair whenever I head out with the chain saw, mower or tractor.
    - Dennis

    www.goldfinch-acres.com

    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    Kubota B21
    Polaris Ranger
    Yamaha Kodiak

  3. #3
    Super Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    Years ago I had a stretch of time, between one to two years, when I would easily get ear infections. I've lost about 5 decibels right across the audible range and I attribute it to the infections. It was an absolute necessity to wear ear protection when I was outside during that time when it was cold out and I used a cheap pair of Princess Auto ear muffs. They worked for me just fine and after awhile, my susceptibility to ear infections dropped back to normal. Isn't it strange how one person's cause was another person's cure?

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23 and L3800 Craftsman Mower, Deere 350C Dozer

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    Didn't realize the problem of damp and dark when it came to personal protection devices...

    At least no more leaving the muffs or my extra respirator out in the barn for me.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2008
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    402

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    I like to use swimmers silicon i get in walmart. I can't stand stuff in my ear canal. The silicone wax covers the canal but doesn't go inside. they're clean, comfortable,disposable and I can wear a broad brimmed hat.

  6. #6
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    3,204
    Location
    CNY
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    Kubota L3240

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    I've had problems with "swimmers" ear mainly due to my having to use hearing protection at work. It might be the ear muffs or that you are not allowing your ear to dry enough, which is my case. Doesn't matter where I store my hearing protection or what brand/type I use. I also sweat a lot and so with hearing protection in place my ears get damp. This has been an on going battle for 20 plus years. If I don't take certain steps to avoid the issue, I get an infection.

    What I have found to help out is a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. Use it after I swim or shower, it helps dry out my ears and vinegar is an antifungal. I also only wear the hearing protection when needed. Where in the past I would leave it on from the start of my day till the end.

    BTW my hearing is tested yearly and I have had no real hearing loss from noise. Every year my first test is checked against my current. I have had some, but everyone does with age.

    Colds, ear infections and other things can have an effect on hearing.
    “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."


    Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by JasG View Post
    I've had problems with "swimmers" ear mainly due to my having to use hearing protection at work. It might be the ear muffs or that you are not allowing your ear to dry enough, which is my case. Doesn't matter where I store my hearing protection or what brand/type I use. I also sweat a lot and so with hearing protection in place my ears get damp. This has been an on going battle for 20 plus years. If I don't take certain steps to avoid the issue, I get an infection.

    What I have found to help out is a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. Use it after I swim or shower, it helps dry out my ears and vinegar is an antifungal. I also only wear the hearing protection when needed. Where in the past I would leave it on from the start of my day till the end.

    BTW my hearing is tested yearly and I have had no real hearing loss from noise. Every year my first test is checked against my current. I have had some, but everyone does with age.

    Colds, ear infections and other things can have an effect on hearing.
    I'm sure this could be part of my problem... I was leaving them on for most of the day when I was operating equipment.

    I appreciate the responses!

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    my boss a couple years ago got an infection in a bone in his ear.. he slowly went tone deaf then near deaf in that ear.. after months of Ab he finally got it back. took like 6m

    I use disposable plugs and muffs.. all inside kept..

    I used to have ear infections all the time.. my ear/throat/ose guy said most of my stuff was actually sinus related. I started using a saline nasal rinse, and have not had one since..

    good luck

  9. #9
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Prudence Island, RI
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    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    Wet ear protectors have nothing whatsoever to do with middle ear infections. Middle ear infections are the ones that leave you with some fluid behind the tympanic membrane (ear drum) and that fluid definitely does cut your hearing for a matter of weeks until the fluid is reabsorbed. I suppose that really wet ear plugs might be a risk factor for otitis externa (swimmer's ear) but while that is a painful condition it really shouldn't cut your hearing except in extreme cases and even then only until the acute swelling (the pain) goes down.

    Bottom line: middle ear infections are related to your throat and sinuses and have nothing to do with the outside of your ear. Keep your head phone style ear protectors any place you want including hanging on a nail in the barn. Ear plugs should be allowed to dry out between uses.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Ear Infection/Hearing Loss

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandTractor View Post
    Bottom line: middle ear infections are related to your throat and sinuses and have nothing to do with the outside of your ear.
    cool.. that agrees with what my DR said..

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