Marshall audiologists observe National Protect Your Hearing Month

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month and audiologists across the nation, including those at Marshall, are encouraging Americans to protect their hearing.  Prolonged exposure to noise can cause permanent hearing loss, they point out.  It’s estimated that 12 million Americans have hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise.

“Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the microscopic hair cells, or cilia, which are found in the inner ear,”  explained Dr. Cathy Newman, an audiologist with the Marshall Health Ear Nose and Throat Specialists. If you have decreased or “muffled” hearing for several hours after exposure to loud noise, that is a sign of temporary and possibly permanent hearing damage, she added.

“If you suspect you may have hearing loss, make an appointment to see an audiologist.  He or she will perform a hearing test to determine the type and severity of hearing loss you may have. Hearing protection and musician attenuating ear plugs can be made to custom-fit your ears personally,”  Newman said.

Hearing can be protected by:

  • Wearing hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85dB for 30 minutes or more;
  • Turning down the volume when listening to electronic devices through headphones;
  • Using filtered attenuating ear plugs when hunting, operating loud equipment or playing in a band.

There are commercial devices available that can help protect against hearing loss, Newman said,  such as professional and recreational earplugs.  For additional information about these devices or to schedule an appointment, call 304-691-8690.

Marshall Health/Marshall Surgery/ENT is located at 6007 US Rt. 60, Suite 213, Barboursville, W.Va.  Clinical service providers are Scott R. Gibbs, M.D., who is a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine graduate, has 22 years experience and is board certified as an otolaryngologist. He has expertise in disorders of the ear, nose and throat including surgery and has subspecialty fellowship training in laryngology and Neurolaryngology. Newman received her clinical doctorate from the Arizona School of Health Sciences and has 16 years experience. She is nationally board certified and licensed in West Virginia.  Newman serves a pediatric through geriatric population and brings a wide diagnostic experience to the Marshall clinic, including expertise acquired at the Stanford University School of Medicine.