J Am Acad Audiol 2002; 13(03): 160-168
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1715958
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2002) American Academy of Audiology

Hearing Loss and Hearing Handicap in Users of Recreational Firearms

Michael Stewart
Rebecca Pankiw
Mark E. Lehman
Thomas H. Simpson
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Publication Date:
07 August 2020 (online)

This investigation sought to establish the prevalence of hearing loss and hearing handicap in a population of 232 recreational firearm users. Hearing handicap was calculated based on four methods using pure-tone threshold data from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and American Speech-Language and Hearing Association in addition to the self-report Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults-Screener (HHIA-S). Subjects (45 female and 187 male) ranging in age from 13 to 77 years (mean = 40 years, SD = 15.1) completed a short questionnaire regarding demographics and shooting practices followed by pure-tone air audiometry at Occupational Safety and Health Administration test frequencies of 500 to 6000 Hz. A total of 177 who exhibited varying degrees of hearing loss also received a face-to-face administration of the HHIA-S. Audiometric and HHIA-S results revealed that both high-frequency hearing loss and hearing handicap varied significantly as functions of age and occupation. Significant gender effects were observed audiometrically but not as a function of hearing handicap. HHIA-S scores varied significantly as a function of high-frequency (1000–4000 Hz) hearing loss. Correlation coefficients between the four different pure-tone methods of calculating hearing handicap and the self-reported HHIA-S were highest for pure-tone methods that do not employ 500 Hz in the calculation.