AudiologyOnline Phone: 800-753-2160


Cognivue Thrive - November 2021

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

Care Path for Patients with Tinnitus
Presented by Sharon Sandridge, PhD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Sharon Sandridge, PhD
Course: #27906Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'This would have been an amazing course if the teacher didn't sound as if she was trying to get through it really fast because she had somewhere else to be'   Read Reviews
Tinnitus is more than just ears. This webinar will present a pathway for management of tinnitus including the use of a multidisciplinary team.

Please note: You may earn ABA Tier 1 credits for this course if you complete it as part of the course 28090, "Summer Webinar Series - Tinnitus." Course 28090 contains recordings of all four events from our 2016 series on Tinnitus. ABA Tier 1 CEUs can be earned only when all modules are completed as part of course 28090.

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

Only $99/yr

Learn More

20Q: Audiologic Care for Musicians - Creating the Perfect Harmony
Presented by Cory Portnuff, AuD, PhD
Text/Transcript
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Cory Portnuff, AuD, PhD
Course: #36100Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Very interesting as I don't have much experience seeing Musicians!'   Read Reviews
Musicians' ears are part of their instruments, and audiology expertise is important for amateur as well as professional musicians. Standard audiology clinic protocols and knowledge may not always be on target for musicians. This course uses an engaging Q & A format to discuss musicians' unique hearing needs and how audiologists can best meet them.

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

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Assessment of Firearm Noise Exposures and Hearing Loss Prevention
Presented by William Murphy, PhD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

William Murphy, PhD
Course: #31240Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'material presented'   Read Reviews
This seminar will describe the magnitude of firearm noise exposure and will describe noise reduction solutions and hearing protection recommendations.

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

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Best Practices for Music Industry Patients: Recommendations and "Real World" Care
Presented by Heather Malyuk, AuD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Heather Malyuk, AuD
Course: #33289Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'Information presented and knowledge of the instructor'   Read Reviews
This course discusses best practices care for the music industry. From recommended diagnostic procedures to seeing a band backstage at a venue, attendees will learn how to modify best practices to suit clinical and “real world” situations.

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

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Cochlear Synaptopathy: Potential Functional Implications for Musicians and Other Performing Artists
Presented by Colleen Le Prell, PhD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenter

Colleen Le Prell, PhD
Course: #33298Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'I really enjoyed the summary of so many different synaptopathy research in this presentation'   Read Reviews
This course will provide an overview of cochlear synaptopathy and the potential functional consequences of this pathology. Implications of this research for musicians and other performing artists with loud sound exposure will be discussed.

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

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.