About a year ago I started shooting more clays, not loads, maybe once or twice a month, 75 max each session, 24g loads with an O/U 20 bore. I always wore electronic ear defenders like a good lad but after each session I noticed a wee bit of a ringing noise in my left ear (I am left handed and shoot off my left shoulder). The noise largely goes after a while, but it can be a few weeks and is probably still there in the background.
I recently changed the ear defenders to a better pair (I was concerned the orginals were not working correctly) and added an ear plug to the left ear, but after shooting 50 clays yesterday the noise is back. Not really loud, but noticable and annoying, plus no one really wants tinnitus do they?
I have been to the medics and I do have mild hearing damage to my left ear. Not dramatic but it is there and at the right frequency to be shooting induced.
It would appear that the sound is travelling through bone (or my empty brain cavity) to reach my ear, so no amount of defenders/plugs will stop it.
Has anyone had a similar experience, or am I just 'special'?!
Does anyone have any suggestions to reduce or eliminate the effect - such as by modifying the gun or changing to another type (semi auto) or calibre (was thinking 28 or even 410). I am ideally after practical solutions that you or friends have used to combat this problem, ones that worked!!
At the moment I don't understand enough of the physics of the sound transmission to work out a way to stop it effectively, but it can't be unique situation or an unsolvable problem.
I don't really want to give up clays unless I have to, but my hearing/health is more important and I'd still have plenty of other forms of shooting so it won't be the end of my world.
Your thoughts would be appreciated ladies and gents,