Influence of ear canal occlusion and static pressure difference on bone conduction thresholds: implications for mechanisms of bone conduction

Int J Audiol. 2005 May;44(5):302-6. doi: 10.1080/14992020500060669.


The effect of air pressure change on bone conduction (BC) hearing thresholds in the occluded ear was investigated. The pump manometer system of an impedance bridge was used to change the air pressure in the ear canal of twenty-two normally hearing subjects. BC thresholds were measured with: (1) open ear; (2) the ear canal occluded with a probe tube and application of 0 daPa air pressure; and (3) the ear canal occluded with a probe tube and application of 350 daPa air pressure. Thresholds were lower in condition 2 than in condition 1, the difference decreasing from 27 dB at 2500 Hz to 4.5 dB at 2000 Hz. Thresholds were higher in condition 3 than in condition 2. The results are interpreted in terms of changes in the relative contribution of the three routes of transmission for BC sound produced by occlusion and by a static pressure difference.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Impedance Tests
  • Adult
  • Air Pressure
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Bone Conduction / physiology*
  • Ear, External / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tympanic Membrane / physiology