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CrabbyGot a question about hearing damage? Want some personal attention? Crabby's our on-site expert. She'll listen to anyone, but please keep your questions reasonable. She can get temperamental and sometimes we have to calm her down... Send Dear Crabby Your Question

Dr. Drew on MTV ... Say What?

Dear Crabby,

I just heard from a friend that Dr. Drew on MTV made comments indicating that hearing protection was useless because sound travels through the skull so well that you would suffer hearing damage with or without hearing protection. This is most disturbing and I was wondering if is any validity to his claims.


Dear Cathy,

There is some validity to that. Sound at loud levels can stimulate the ear by bone conduction. Sound passing through the ear is known as air conduction. Reducing the air conduction by applying ear plugs, does help to protect hearing. Hearing by air and bone conduction, without protection, is potentially more dangerous than protecting hearing by air conduction.

Hearing protection lowers the sound levels to a safe level. Repeated noise exposure can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue and may cause many other medical problems. So protection is smart. If you think you may have a hearing problem contact a hearing health professional.


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