by Michael Stewart, The ASHA Leader
Skeet and trap shooting. Target practice. Cowboy action shooting. Wild game hunting. These are popular leisure-time activities in America, where the citizenry owns more firearms than in any other country in the world. An estimated 70 million Americans own more than 270 million firearms, according to a 2007 issue of Small Arms Survey. And several states have hunting laws allowing children as young as age 10 to hunt when accompanied by an adult family member.
But even as firearms provide people with recreational opportunities, they also can cause significant noise-induced hearing loss with associated tinnitus unless shooters wear proper hearing protection. According to recent studies, relatively few of them do.
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