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Old 19 November 2017, 08:16
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Suppressors vs. Hearing loss and tinnitus

This subject was again discussed with professional end users at a recent training/education course at our facility.

Hearing damage and tinnitus are number 1 and 2 most common reasons for new compensations paid to U.S. servicemen and women. They are also the all time top 1-2 in total number of compansation recipients ( 2016 report by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs )

Similar figures can be seen elsewhere in the world.

Yes, suppressors cost money and have their +/- features, but money should not be a valid reason for not buying them, if governments can afford all these compensations, not mentioning the quality of life for someone with permanent tinnitus.

Also, lack of knowledge or understanding about them should also not be valid reasons due to public and organizational info available on them. Many militaries who issue them for SOF can easily find out the experiences and apply them then into conventional side use.

How much does it cost to?
- To train a soldier or law enforcement officer during his career

- How much does it cost not only in money, but loss in capability/knowledge if the same person is moved to other role from operations due to the disability or permanently retired due to it?

- How much does it then cost to pay him/her the compensations after retirement?

If one looks back 20+ years, red dot sights were pretty much SOF equipment, for a long time now they have been very widely used by conventional military and LEOs also.

It has not happened with suppressors.
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Old 19 November 2017, 12:25
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The % of tinnitus claims directly being caused by firearms would be in question.
New studies are showing stuff like this - https://www.research.va.gov/currents...ing2014-11.cfm

So you have jet fuel, helicopters/jets, other engines(generators, aux power), ship engine rooms, mechanical rooms, tanks, armored equipment etc. What percentage of troops in the force actively engage in firing weapons monthly for their whole career however to justify a suppressor? There is no current monitoring program force wide to pinpoint the causation and or sort out fake claims for tinnitus as any audiologist will tell you they cannot confirm or deny with any test that the ringing exists and if its in the patients head or not.(the cats out of the bag on that and many people go claim that number 1 to get a little bit of cash)

Should everyone in the specops community who run regular operations have suppressors - sure and they already do. But giving them to every front line soldier I am not sold on yet when the data from how many of them had hearing related issues from not having a suppressor isn't there yet. You are also mixing the budgets. The DOD doesn't buy equipment based on the VHA's budget for services and make a cause and effect correlation.

We should just be happy that this hearing loss thing is enough to hopefully pull suppressors out of the NFA regulatory nightmare. When they go into mass production from that it could be a windfall for the military as the prices will come way down - that is when DOD gets them force wide in my opinion and only because they are within reach not that DOD cares about hearing.
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Old 19 November 2017, 13:51
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Do service members have hearing damage from steady noise, sure they have.

However the risk is pretty great from impulse noise. Any person around the world I have met that had some hearing loss it was most often small arms ( apart from explosions or being on artillery etc )

To justify a suppressor?, how many Aimpoints does the U.S military have for the general purpose force, hundreds of thousands. It it should not be and in many cases it is not about money, but attitude.

The NFA part does not of course apply to other countries, although suppressors mighr be restricted, but not really a issue for MIL/LE acquisition wise.

My post concerned the sound part only, due to lenghty discussion on that with our visitors this week, suppressors of course having other benefits as well.
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Old 19 November 2017, 14:03
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Forgot to mention, usually any good hearing doctor can tell by the frenquency level dip on a hearing test if you are a hunter, shooter or MIL/LE etc.

There is a lot of studies and knowledge on firearms related hearing loss from different countries. This was most recently studied here in Europe by various states in Germany, prior to starting to legalize suppressor ownership 2-3 years ago.

I also recently got a good talking ( positive sort ) at a nose/ear/throat doctor when he found out what I do for a living.
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Old 19 November 2017, 17:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuukka View Post
Do service members have hearing damage from steady noise, sure they have.
Not being anti-suppressor here, but...

Trying to find a single or primary reason for the hearing loss among military people is like trying to find the primary reason why we all have bad backs. It's not humping or running or helicopters or jumping out of planes; it's 20+ years of all of the above.

Personally, I started doubling up on my ear pro WAY too late.
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Old 19 November 2017, 18:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Rhyno View Post
...Personally, I started doubling up on my ear pro WAY too late.
Yup!

My tinnitus is directly related to lack of ear pro.

Neil Young is probably most first responsible, awesome concert by the way...

Beyond that, my lose is at the same dB/frequency/hertz as “jobsite noise”, after 20+ of that noise.
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Old 20 November 2017, 23:40
Rockville Rockville is offline
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try Military Audiology Association: JDVAC 2018
militaryaudiology.org/

tinnitus can be related to high blood pressure.
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Old 21 November 2017, 01:20
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Hearing loss and Tinnitus, Uncle Sugar is paying for both.

For me, hearing aids reduce the ability to get a fix the direction of where the sounds are coming from.

We had ear plugs available, but they always stayed in that little clear plastic container that was hooked thru the epaulet of the field jacket. Young and invincible, or so we thought.

Check out Jesse James's attempt to charge $5000 bucks for a goofy looking suppressor. To be fair he did drop the price down to $3500.

Plugs and muffs go on as soon as I get close to the range.

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Old 21 November 2017, 01:36
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As soon as the Gov admits that suppressors will help with hearing loss prevention in the troops they will have to pass the bill to allow civilians the same protection and make them a normal legal purchase. That brings politics into the discussion amongst politicians and throws a wrench into the common sense course of action.
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Old 22 November 2017, 11:22
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I think a lot more hearing loss problems in the military would be solved with a good set of peltors than suppressors, but the reality is wearing ear muffs dont look cool so people arent going to wear them all the time, but everyone and their brother will jump at the chance to put a suppressor on their gun while their hearing still goes to shit from everything else that cant be suppressed.
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Old 22 November 2017, 11:41
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I was an earpro nerd both on the flightline as an aircraft maintainer and during live fires as a combat controller.

Double earpro most of the time with Peltors volume cranked to max.I still notice tinnitus in both ears in a quiet room.
I did use a suppressor a lot, but are we gonna put a can on a .50 or a 240B? Not sure this is a legitimate solution based on my limited(noncombat) experience.
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Old 22 November 2017, 16:08
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Aside from the hearing loss prevention perspective there is a huge tactical advantage to have a suppressor on a weapon. Inside of a room after one or two shots is deafening and makes verbally communicating near impossible without shouting. The ability for people to communicate during an engagment is crucial and a major tactical advantage just from the communication point of view, especially when conducting CQB and raid operations. Does that warrant spending the money to put one on every weapon carried by all service members? I think it does for anyone who's job is ground combat related from Grunts to Special Operations dudes.

Nothing worse then not being able to communicate with someone ten feet away because you have just fired several rounds inside or outside and now you both have badly ringing ears and can't hear shit in the moment that counts the most.

Last edited by DB8541; 22 November 2017 at 16:16.
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