We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they
hear from their patients. Read Audiologist
Kathryn Schmidt-Miller, MS, CCC, answer to:
I worry that my husband is going to lose his hearing because he doesn’t
wear good ear protection at the shooting range.
A: You are right to be worried. Noise-induced hearing loss is usually slow
and painless. But, it is permanent. The hair cells and hearing nerve cannot be fixed.
Noise-induced hearing loss happens when you listen to loud sounds. These
sounds can last a long time, like listening to a concert, or they can
be short, like from
Three things put people at risk for noise-induced hearing loss:
- How loud the noise is
- How close you are to the noise
- How long you hear the noise
We record noise levels in decibels, or dBA. The higher the noise level,
the louder the noise. You can listen to sounds at 70 dBA or lower for
as long as you want. Sounds at 85 dBA can lead to hearing loss if you
listen to them for more than 8 hours at a time.
Firearms produce a decibel level of 140-150 and are not safe at any period
of time without hearing protection.
You probably don't always carry a sound level meter with you, so here
are some signs that the noise is too loud:
- You must raise your voice to be heard.
- You can't hear or understand someone 3 feet away from you.
- Speech around you sounds muffled or dull after you leave the noisy area.
- You have pain or ringing in your ears after you hear the noise, called
tinnitus. It can last for a few minutes or a few days.
It’s very important for your husband to protect his hearing by wearing
earplugs or earmuffs when he is at the shooting range.
Earplugs go into the ear so that they totally block the canal. Earmuffs
fit completely over both ears. They must fit tightly to block sound from
going into your ears. Earplugs and earmuffs can be used together to cut
noise down even more.
Patients can have custom earplugs made in about two weeks at the Campbell
County Medical Group
Audiology Clinic. There is no charge for the initial and follow-up appointments,
and the most common type of earplugs are about $250.
Learn more here >>>
We're here to help you hear!
If you would like to know more about your hearring, or if a comprehensive
hearing test was indicated, call the Campbell County Medical
Audiology at 307.688.4368 for an appointment with audiologist
Kathryn Schmidt-Miller, MS, CCC. At the Audiology Clinic, we provide identification, assessment
and rehabilitation of hearing loss. Kathy is a member and has served on
the board of the
National Hearing Conservation Association. If hearing is your concern, we are here to meet your needs. Learn more at