AudiologyOnline Phone: 800-753-2160
Oticon Medical: Ponto 4 - June 2019

Hearing Loss Through Bone Conduction

Elliott H. Berger, MS, INCE Bd. Cert.

March 7, 2005

Share:

Question

If a patient wears earmuffs in combination with custom made earplugs, can you still get hearing loss through bone conduction (through the skull) when shooting a variety of guns? What is the rate of attenuation from external noise to the cochlea through bone conduction?

Answer

The limits to the attenuation for a perfectly attenuating hearing protector, that are imposed by the flanking bone-conduction pathways, vary from about 40 - 60 dB across frequency. This means that even if a hearing protector could block all of the sound entering the earcanal, that sound attenuated by 40 to 60 dB would still get though to the cochlea, and like the sound transmitted via the air-conduction pathway, this energy can cause hearing loss. However, in all but the most extreme environments, this will be sufficient protection. For all but the most susceptible ears and all but the most extreme amounts of gunfire, noise reduction that equals the attenuation imposed by the bone-conduction limits should be quite sufficient. The much larger issue is making sure that the shooter is properly wearing the single or double hearing protection devices to get the maximum protection they can provide.

For additional information on the bone-conduction limits see EARLog 5 and 13 which can be found at www.e-a-r.com/hearingconservation/earlog_main.cfm

For a detailed discussion of the limits to attenuation see the article of that name at www.e-a-r.com/hearingconservation/journal_main.cfm

After receiving his M.S. in Acoustical Engineering from North Carolina State University, joined the Aearo Company in 1976. As E A R/Aearo's Senior Scientist, Auditory Research, he conducts hearing protector research and development. He has written over 60 articles on hearing protection/conservation, and was the principal editor for the 4th and 5th editions of the AIHA Noise & Hearing Conservation Manual. Elliott chairs ANSI working group S12/WG11 on real-world hearing protector performance, and is also involved with numerous other standards committees. In 1993 he was the recipient of the National Hearing Conservation Association's Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award, and in both 1993 and 1998 received their Outstanding Lecture Award. Elliott is Past President of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), Past-Chair of the American Industrial Hygiene Association's (AIHA) Committee on Noise and a Fellow of the Association, a Board Member of the of the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC), a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).



Elliott H. Berger, MS, INCE Bd. Cert.

After receiving his M.S. in Acoustical Engineering from North Carolina State University, Elliott joined the Aearo Company in 1976.  As E•A•R/Aearo's Senior Scientist, Auditory Research, he conducts hearing protector research and development.  He has written over 60 articles on hearing protection/conservation, and was the principal editor for the 4th and 5th editions of the AIHA Noise & Hearing Conservation Manual.  Elliott chairs ANSI working group S12/WG11 on real-world hearing protector performance, and is also involved with numerous other standards committees.  In 1993 he was the recipient of the National Hearing Conservation Association's Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award, and in both 1993 and 1998 received their Outstanding Lecture Award.  Elliott is Past President of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), Past-Chair of the American Industrial Hygiene Association's (AIHA) Committee on Noise and a Fellow of the Association, a Board Member of the of the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC), a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).


Related Courses

Turning a Nightmare into a Dream: Taking Care of Musicians and Engineers
Presented by Brian Fligor, ScD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Brian Fligor, ScD
Course: #26023Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Pleasant course, great job'   Read Reviews
Patients with hearing loss and/or tinnitus who have exceptionally strong musical talent, technical knowledge, or both may be the most challenging type of patients for audiologists to manage, but also among the most rewarding to serve. This first presentation in the 2015 NIHL Webinar Series will dissect the values of this population and discuss considerations for audiologists to address these patients’ needs most effectively.

Please note: You may earn ABA Tier 1 credits for this course if you complete it as part of the course 26346, "NIHL Webinar Series." Course 26346 contains recordings of all three events from our 2015 NIHL Webinar Series. ABA Tier 1 CEUs can be earned only when all modules are completed as part of course 26346.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Talented Listeners: Amplification in a Counter Culture
Presented by Heather Malyuk, AuD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Heather Malyuk, AuD
Course: #26024Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'A good course'   Read Reviews
Amplification for patients in the music industry can be overwhelming and even a little confusing as these expert listeners hold different aural values that are often in opposition to their audiologists. This course will look at care for those patients in terms of needs, wants, and types of amplification, offering the audiologist information on culturally appropriate amplification.

Please note: You may earn ABA Tier 1 credits for this course if you complete it as part of the course 26346, "NIHL Webinar Series." Course 26346 contains recordings of all three events from our 2015 NIHL Webinar Series. ABA Tier 1 CEUs can be earned only when all modules are completed as part of course 26346.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

The Role of Active and Passive Hearing Protection in Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians
Presented by Patty Tillman Johnson, AuD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Patty Tillman Johnson, AuD
Course: #26025Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Taught well'   Read Reviews
This course will cover passive and active (electronic) high-fidelity hearing protection, including what makes a hearing protector high fidelity, how they operate, and what you need to know to select and fit the appropriate protectors for your musician patients. The course will focus on Etymotic Research products and will not include information on other products. Adaptation and techniques to improve success in fitting high-fidelity hearing protection will also be discussed.

Please note: You may earn ABA Tier 1 credits for this course if you complete it as part of the course 26346, "NIHL Webinar Series." Course 26346 contains recordings of all three events from our 2015 NIHL Webinar Series. ABA Tier 1 CEUs can be earned only when all modules are completed as part of course 26346.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

NIHL Webinar Series: Working with Musicians and Audio Professionals
Presented by Brian Fligor, ScD, Heather Malyuk, AuD, Patty Tillman Johnson, AuD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenters

Brian Fligor, ScDHeather Malyuk, AuDPatty Tillman Johnson, AuD
Course: #26346Level: Intermediate3 Hours
  'Each presenter brought their own thoughts and ideas to each part, which made it very informative especially for someone like me who is not well versed this area'   Read Reviews
Join us for our eighth annual Noise-Induced Hearing Loss webinar series, organized by guest editor Brian Fligor, ScD, PASC and presented by leading experts. This modular series explores the latest research in noise-induced hearing loss and its considerations for audiology clinical practice. The courses take an indepth look at NIHL and its prevention and treatment when working with musicians and other audio professionals.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Exploring Mindfulness With Tinnitus Patients: Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction
Presented by Jennifer Gans
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Jennifer Gans
Course: #26026Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'It focuses on more than just the physiological aspect of tinnitus'   Read Reviews
This presentation explores tinnitus within the framework of brain functioning and current research into mindfulness with a focus on tinnitus related to trauma and noise induced hearing loss. The talk is designed to familiarize participants with the 8-week Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR) program and the online program, MindfulTinnitusRelief.com, a course designed to make mindfulness skill-building cost-effective, non-invasive, and accessible to patients with tinnitus any time, and anywhere they have internet access.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More