Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Often, hunters do not wear hearing protection because they feel their safety and success will be jeopardized. However, the high-impulse noise associated with firearms may cause a noise-induced hearing loss, which may also affect the hunters’ safety and success. This study examined the ability of hunters, both those with a hearing loss (N=10) and those without a hearing loss (N=14) to identify various target stimuli under three ear conditions. Each subject had: (1) an open ear condition, in which no hearing protection was worn; (2) a Pura-fit condition (foam hearing protective device); and (3) a Sonic II condition (rubber hearing protection device). There were statistically significant differences when comparing the number of correctly identified target stimuli in the varying ear conditions. The open ear condition allowed for the greatest number of correct responses, followed by the Sonic II condition, with the least number of correct responses occurring in the Pura-fit condition. It was concluded that further research is warranted. Future research needs to examine hearing protection devices that are currently available on their ability to allow hunters auditory awareness. If the hearing protection devices that are currently available do not allow for auditory awareness, then studies need to be conducted to determine if such hearing protection devices can be devised. Additionally, the study found a need to educate people on what constitutes a potentially damaging noise and what can be done to prevent a noise-induced hearing loss.
Copyright 1999 Tina A. Blew
Blew, Tina A., "The Effects of Hearing Protection Devices on Hunters' Abilities to Identify Target Stimuli" (1999). Master's Theses. 2726.