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Old 03-06-10, 11:32 AM   #1
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Hearing loss - should I be worried?

Yesterday I was pumping up my rear tire. I pumped in 110lbs of pressure and leaned over to remove the pump head. The wire bead must not have been seated properly because the tube blew up. My left ear was inches away from the blowout and I experienced a bit of shell shock for 10 minutes. Now, about 20 hours later I still cannot hear much out of that ear. It feels and sounds like I have an ear plug in my left ear. I have never experienced this before and I am a little concerned that this may be permanent damage.

Can anyone weigh in?
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Old 03-06-10, 12:10 PM   #2
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Peak decibel sources like a hammer strike or exploding tubes/tires may result in some long term loss of hearing but it's likely that it'll return to normal soon. Going to a concert can be worse...hours of 100-ish decibels. This is why I wear earplugs to concerts if I'm sitting too close for comfort. Freak occurrences like yours are no reason to wear hearing protection IMO. Stuff happens, you'll be fine.

My rear studded tire's tube exploded while mounting them this past December. Startling, yes. Ringing ear, yes. Lasting damage? Some I'm sure but nothing to get bent out of shape about.
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Old 03-06-10, 12:58 PM   #3
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It's just reassuring to hear that from someone, if that makes sense. I am not usually the type to worry but for some reason this one had me going a bit.
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Old 03-06-10, 03:29 PM   #4
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Go to the doctor and get it checked. If you are lucky, it is just some wax that may have gotten dislodged and is blocking the ear canal.

I hope your lose is temporary. and if it is permanent, I hope it is not accompanied by tinnitus like I have.
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Old 03-06-10, 03:45 PM   #5
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huh !!
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Old 03-06-10, 03:53 PM   #6
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That's a given, get it checked out if you're that concerned. Tinnitus is rather common. I have it to from years in the navy. And I wore double hearing protection for my last 3 years. The first 3 I wore single. I wanted to get out with as good of hearing as possible. Glad I did so.

Most concerts are far too loud...much worse for lasting effects than one blown tire.
*Rule of thumb I learned in my Navy days...if you have to raise your voice to be heard/understood by a person who is an arm's length away, then you both should be wearing ear protection.

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Old 03-06-10, 04:39 PM   #7
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it takes at least a few days for your ear drums to recover.
I would think it's very unlikely you'll have permanent damage.
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Old 03-06-10, 05:15 PM   #8
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I had a similar experience. I was driving to Georgia and was passing a semi truck when his tire blew out right beside my passenger window. It took a couple days but I got my hearing back to as normal as it was before.
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Old 03-06-10, 08:08 PM   #9
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I would be concerned if there was pain.
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Old 03-06-10, 08:17 PM   #10
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When installing a new tube/tire or inflating a tire that's been flat, here is a good procedure.
Inflate tire to about 20 lbs. Check if bead is seated on the rim properly. Deflate the tire.
Then re-inflate to the proper pressure and recheck tire bead seating.
Likely your hearing issue will be temporary.
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Old 03-07-10, 03:34 AM   #11
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yes to the above tire inflation technique

I worry about the tube blowout ear thing, especially indoors - outside at least the sound waves can travel. It's always best to proceed carefully and slowly with a flat and do it right.

The ear has protective functions, and the moving parts (the bones of the Middle ear) can often stiffen in response to sudden loud noises like the one you experienced. I also am thinking it will come back in the next day or so.

If you have insurance, it can't hurt to get a referral to an ENT if you have any concerns; you can get a hearing test, which even if things are A-OK will give you a healthy baseline to compare with as you get older.
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Old 03-07-10, 04:26 AM   #12
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When installing a new tube/tire or inflating a tire that's been flat, here is a good procedure.
Inflate tire to about 20 lbs. Check if bead is seated on the rim properly. Deflate the tire.
Then re-inflate to the proper pressure and recheck tire bead seating.
Likely your hearing issue will be temporary.
I wasn't changing a flat. I took the rear wheel off to clean the braking surfaces since I installed new pads. I have fenders and horizontal dropouts so I have to deflate my tires to remove them. I guess the bead moved out of place while I was cleaning the rim so it caught me off guard a bit.

I still cannot hear but it's not painful either so we will see. I was really paranoid putting the new tube in.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:02 AM   #13
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yes to the above tire inflation technique

I worry about the tube blowout ear thing, especially indoors - outside at least the sound waves can travel. It's always best to proceed carefully and slowly with a flat and do it right.

The ear has protective functions, and the moving parts (the bones of the Middle ear) can often stiffen in response to sudden loud noises like the one you experienced. I also am thinking it will come back in the next day or so.

If you have insurance, it can't hurt to get a referral to an ENT if you have any concerns; you can get a hearing test, which even if things are A-OK will give you a healthy baseline to compare with as you get older.
A good point for another recent thread. I often wonder why medical questions end up being asked on BF. Maybe insurance, or the lack thereof is the reason.

Hearing loss is cummulative and permanent. This noise is no different. It will eventually improve and perhaps you won't notice a change but it does add to the total degredation.
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Old 03-07-10, 10:33 AM   #14
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A good point for another recent thread. I often wonder why medical questions end up being asked on BF. Maybe insurance, or the lack thereof is the reason.

Hearing loss is cummulative and permanent. This noise is no different. It will eventually improve and perhaps you won't notice a change but it does add to the total degredation.
No, I have health insurance, I just don't like going to the hospital. I realize this is not the best place for medical questions but I thought I may find similar stories and how it worked out.
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Old 03-07-10, 10:45 AM   #15
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I'm a shooter, and a tube blowing out has a similar effect on the ear that a gunshot has. I shoot big bore rifles, and I religiously use hearing protection, and I still have suffered hearing loss over the years. Honestly, I wear earplugs when I change a tire on a bike, just for that reason. It might look funny wearing earplugs, or a shooters headset for hearing protection, but loud, concussive noises do degrade your hearing.
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Old 03-07-10, 10:53 AM   #16
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Something similar happened to me, only it involved a firecracker. I've noticed i can't hear as well out of my right ear anymore.
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Old 03-07-10, 10:53 AM   #17
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Most married men have some hearing loss.
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Old 03-07-10, 10:54 AM   #18
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I'm a shooter, and a tube blowing out has a similar effect on the ear that a gunshot has. I shoot big bore rifles, and I religiously use hearing protection, and I still have suffered hearing loss over the years. Honestly, I wear earplugs when I change a tire on a bike, just for that reason. It might look funny wearing earplugs, or a shooters headset for hearing protection, but loud, concussive noises do degrade your hearing.
Another smokepole from Friendship Indiana?
Used to shoot quite well with a homemade Ohio-style 40cal. percussion.
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Old 03-07-10, 10:56 AM   #19
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Most married men have some hearing loss.
The OP should keep the wife on his left in the future.
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Old 03-07-10, 11:08 AM   #20
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most married men have some hearing loss.
lol
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Old 03-07-10, 11:14 AM   #21
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I shoot little rifles like .270 Winchester Magnum (Mauser Action), 7.62X54Russian (Mosin-Nagant), and .600 Nitro Express (Heim). All center-fire cartridge rifles rather than muzzle loader.
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Another smokepole from Friendship Indiana?
Used to shoot quite well with a homemade Ohio-style 40cal. percussion.
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Old 03-07-10, 11:18 AM   #22
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Had a tire explode on my home stand right behind my head once. I hit the ground, not knowing what happened at first. Thought my hearing would never be the same, but after several days it returned to normal.
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Old 03-07-10, 12:47 PM   #23
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The OP should keep the wife on his left in the future.
Ha, she needs to actually ride first. Thanks for the input everyone it is appreciated.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:46 AM   #24
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It's been about 4 days and my hearing is slowly starting to improve. Although it's not completely back to normal I don't have that feeling like I have an ear plug inserted. I guess I can breath a little sigh of relief and learn a lesson from this.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-09-10, 08:50 AM   #25
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Glad to hear it's getting better.

Oh hay. "Hear". I made a funny. Har!
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