“Gun-shooting hearing loss”: A pilot study | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

“Gun-shooting hearing loss”: A pilot study

| Reprints
January 1, 2010
by Joseph Sataloff, MD, DSc, Mary J. Hawkshaw, BSN, RN, CORLN, and Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS


Gun-shooting deafness is the common terminology applied to sensorineural hearing loss caused by shooting firearms. Many characteristics of gun-shooting hearing loss have been proposed, but they have not been defined clearly or established conclusively. We studied 37 users of recreational firearms to obtain pilot data to help determine if it is true that right-handed gun shooters develop more hearing loss in the left ear and vice versa, whether everyone who frequently shoots guns develops sensorineural hearing loss, and whether significant hearing loss is typically prevented by wearing commercially available ear protectors while shooting.

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