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Hi i went to a shooting range 2 days ago, and yes, i was an id**t and did not wear ear protection, loud noises typically dont bother me at all, and im around them a lot.  anyway i forgot my ear plugs, and decided to shoot anyway, big mistake..

so my ears rang for about an hour after.  but after the initial ringing went away, my left ear went completely back to normal, but my right ear did not, i noticed a kind of raspy, distorted, broken speaker sound when listening to the radio at a pretty normal volume, i get the same sound when people talk to me, and especially when i talk, its not every word or all of one word, its usually just part of a word.
that and i noticed ringing the night of, and the next morning, seemed to pretty much disappear during the day, then when i was in bed, it came back for a little bit, went away, and came back constantly within like 10 minutes. now, the next day, (2 days after shooting) the ringing is still there and pretty constant.  as well as the raspy, broken speaker sound.  

there is also a very slight pressure in my ear, but that could be from a lot of jaw movement ive been doing trying to pop my ears and stuff.

i went to a doctor today, he said there was no damage that he could see in my ear, and said most likely it will all go away within about a week.  i told him the gun i used, (762x54 rounds) and fired around 30 or so shots. he said its very unlikely that i suffered any permanent damage like this, especially if i havent had issues with loud noises in the past. 

i did some searching around, and from what ive read you can damage parts of the cochlea, and as a result have trouble hearing tones that that part of the cochlea hears.  but it sounds like thats much more common in old age.  

then i found something called a perilymph fistula, where you get a tear in tissue between your middle and inner ear, and some people with a perilymph fistula experience that blown speaker sound. and for this to heal you need either bed rest for 1-2 weeks and if that doesnt work, then surgery.  

and one last thing... ive been taking minocycline, for the last 2 months or so for acne, i looked up what its effect can be on hearing, and i found that it can cause tinnitus, but i also found that it may help after ear damage.  anyway i stopped taking it, and about 24 hours after i took it is when the ringing came back, after being gone for most of the second day.  not sure if it has anything to do with the minocycline at all, might be completely seperate.

so if anyone has any knowledge about this, or can help in anyway that would be great.  im going to see an EMT tomorrow, from what it sounds like only time will tell if these symptoms are here to stay.  and im really hoping they arent, im only 22 and i dont want to have to live the rest of my life like this, 2 days and im already sick of it.  i might be over reacting but i feel i have good reason to,  the doctor said try not to look at anything on the internet, it does a good job of scaring people, but i just want have as much knowledge about this as i can so i can recover as well as i can.  

any help would be greatly appreciated!

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ok ive given it some more thought and discussed it with my parents a little, dad is a doctor, mom used to be a nurse.  and both of them seem very confident that its nothing permanent, and should go back to normal.  

looking at the symptoms i think we have a pretty good idea of what is going on.  i dont feel like i have any hearing loss, very very slight if anything.  there is a slight muffled sound, but i think that is more from my ear feeling "full" and congested if that makes sense.  like im listening to people talk around a corner.  
what we are hoping it is is swelling in the ear, which is causing it to not equalize fully. (though ive felt ears not being able to equalize and this does not feel the same, more like a very slight sensation of that) that or the swelling by itself could create the full effect im feeling.  

anyway, my mom has done alot of scuba diving, and said she used to hear that same sound for a couple days after scuba diving when her ears were not equalized, i havent dove in like 10 years, and i think i felt the same thing for a day but its too long ago to remember.  but i have felt that feeling after swimming, either getting water stuck in your ear, or your ears not equalizing for awhile, and it made a similar sound, and similar muffled sound.
swelling would also make sense because i didnt notice the buzzing sound right after or during shooting, i noticed it was an issue maybe 20 minutes after being done.  so it makes sense that it would have taken a short time to swell, and it would explain why over the past two days its felt the same.
when i plug my ear, for maybe 10 seconds or so, then unplug it, and talk or make a constant noise, there is a split second where i dont have the buzzing sound, then it kicks in.  but its very short, maybe a half second at most, and your hearing isnt 100% the second you unplug your ears, so hard to say if i can trust this very much, but it would sure explain the the ear not equalizing.  

so anyway, im hoping its just swelling, my dad said it should take a week, maybe 2 to go away.  if its unequal pressure, it should go away sooner as the ear gets less swollen, if the symptoms im having are from swelling alone ill just have to wait and see.  im still seeing an EMT doctor tomorrow, ill definitely bring this up and see what he thinks.  

id still like any advice anyone can give, its not over yet and im still kinda freaking out, since im not 100% sure.  the buzzing while talking and listening to music makes it annoying and bothersome to listen to music, people, or even talk myself. the thought of having to live the next 4/5th's of my life being annoyed by sound is not a good thought to have.
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EAR MUFFS for the win.
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User avatar
Health Ace
6879 posts
I can only tell you about my experience when I was 17. I got a job in a cotton mill, in the weave room. Back then no one had heard of ear protection and I would think the older people should have been deaf but they weren't.

After the shift on Monday my ears rang until supper time. Tuesday another hour or so and each day added another hour or so. By the weekend they were ringing all day until Sunday afternoon. Then on Monday we started the whole thing all over again.

I only worked in the weave room for two weeks so I don't think I got any permanent damage myself.

I became a TV repairman and until I was 35 years old I could still hear the 15,750 cycle ringing of the high voltage transformer all the way across the room.

When I was 42 I went for a hearing test and they said I couldn't hear anything over 3000 cycles, so at some point my hearing took a turn for the worst and I have had tinnitus since about that time.

I tried hearing aids about 10 years ago but amplifying the sound just seemed to create that broken speaker effect it didn't make it more intelligible. I'm not deaf by any means but certainly not hearing like I used to now that I'm 71.
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Can u please tell us what the outcome was, i'm going through the same thing right now
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Hello, how is your hearing now? I have just had the same thing happen to me. 3 days ago and no improvement. Off to doctor today. Hope your ok now. Its not nice!
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Did that ringing ever stop. Mine has been going for five days now and I'm worried.
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do your hearing get better
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Hey could you please update us on this? I did the same thing. 21 rds of .223
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How is this now? Please advise...
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User avatar
Health Ace
6879 posts
Next time wear protection. It will go away but the worse it was the longer it takes. I worked in the weave room of a cotton mill in the 50s. No one ever heard of ear protection back then. After the first day my ears would ring for a couple hours. The second day it was most of the evening. The third day it lasted until I went to bed. the fourth and fifth days it never stopped. It lasted all day Saturday and by Sunday afternoon it was ok. On Monday it started all over again.
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User avatar
Health Guru
9488 posts
If your still suffering from tinnitus njoynlife you can get a small deviance like a hearing aid that help to mask the ringing, I have tinnitus in my left ear from skeet shooting even after wearing special ear plugs my Dr advised me to try one but luckily most the time I don't notice the ringing but if it gets worse I might look into getting one.
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User avatar
Health Ace
6879 posts
Actually I'm used to it now, but the tinnitus didn't show up until I was in my 40s. I can hear it right now only because you mentioned it. I didn't work in the weave room long enough to get any serious damage, only 2 weeks but I did spend about 16 years hovering over dragster engines on the starting line making last second adjustments. Until I was in my 40s I could still hear the horizontal oscillator in a TV from across the room. That was almost 16,000 cycles/Hertz for you probably. Somewhere in my mid 40s I had my hearing tested and the doc said I couldn't hear much of anything above 3000. Ten years later it was down to 2000 and the latest evaluation put it at 1600.

I do think it's partly if not mostly hereditary though. My father was deaf in one ear he claims was from the artillery shell that destroyed his left elbow and got him with poison gas in WWI but my mother was never in the war and never worked in any noisy environment. She had two hearing aids when she was 70 and by the time she was 102 she couldn't hear anything. We had to write notes.
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Is your ringing gone? I'm going through the same thing
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After three weeks my hearing is still dull every time someone talks they sound like little chipmunks
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