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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 116  |  Page : 8--35

Physiological and perceptual auditory consequences of hunting-related recreational firearm noise exposure in young adults with normal hearing sensitivity

1 Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Towson University, Towson, MD 21252
2 Eastern Shore ENT & Allergy, Salisbury, MD 21804
3 ENT & Allergy Associates LLP, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Correspondence Address:
Saradha Ananthakrishnan
Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.nah_53_22

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Purpose: The objective of the current study was to describe outcomes on physiological and perceptual measures of auditory function in human listeners with and without a history of recreational firearm noise exposure related to hunting. Design: This study assessed the effects of hunting-related recreational firearm noise exposure on audiometric thresholds, oto-acoustic emissions (OAEs), brainstem neural representation of fundamental frequency (F0) in frequency following responses (FFRs), tonal middle-ear muscle reflex (MEMR) thresholds, and behavioral tests of auditory processing in 20 young adults with normal hearing sensitivity. Results: Performance on both physiological (FFR, MEMR) and perceptual (behavioral auditory processing tests) measures of auditory function were largely similar across participants, regardless of hunting-related recreational noise exposure. On both behavioral and neural measures including different listening conditions, performance degraded as difficulty of listening condition increased for both nonhunter and hunter participants. A right-ear advantage was observed in tests of dichotic listening for both nonhunter and hunter participants. Conclusion: The null results in the current study could reflect an absence of cochlear synaptopathy in the participating cohort, variability related to participant characteristics and/or test protocols, or an insensitivity of the selected physiological and behavioral auditory measures to noise-induced synaptopathy.


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