Noise-induced hearing loss—Glossary
Produced in partnership with Sue Brown
Noise-induced hearing loss—Glossary

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note produced in partnership with Sue Brown provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss—Glossary
  • Air conduction (AC)
  • Age-associated hearing loss (AAHL)
  • Air-bone gap (ABG)
  • Audiogram
  • Audiometer
  • Audiometry
  • Auditory masking
  • A-weighted sound pressure level
  • Bandwidth
  • More...

Air conduction (AC)

The transmission of sound through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear. The standard audiogram is measuring air conduction.

Age-associated hearing loss (AAHL)

Hearing loss primarily related to age but also hearing loss due to unidentified causes.

Air-bone gap (ABG)

The figure arrived at by deducting the HTL given by the bone conduction reading from that given by the air conduction reading.


A pure tone audiogram is a chart of a person’s hearing threshold levels for pure tones at different frequencies, showing loss as a function of frequency, measured using an audiometer.


Pure tone audiometer—an electroacoustical instrument. For air conduction measurements the audiometer uses a headset with two earphones which provides pure tones of specified frequencies at known sound pressure levels, used to determine hearing threshold levels, one ear at a time. To measure bone conduction the audiometer is also equipped with a bone vibrator.

Manual audiometer—an audiometer where the signal presentations, frequency and hearing level selection, and noting the subject’s responses, are done manually.

Self-recording audiometer (automatic-recording audiometer)—an audiometer on which the frequency selection/variation and the recording of the subject’s responses are done automatically and where the level increases or decreases continuously under the subject’s control. It may present fixed frequencies or a continuously variable frequency or both, and may provide both continuous and pulsed tone outputs.

Computer-controlled audiometer—where the control functions and generally the calculation and display

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