[Risk of noise-induced hearing loss caused by radio communication? Audiologic findings in helicopter crews and pilots of propeller airplanes].

Abstract

The affects of noise on the human inner ear have been well known for a long time, and measures to prevent occupational noise-induced hearing loss show a clear reduction in the statistics of morbidity. Nevertheless, there are working environments in which the use of ear protection seems to be inapplicable, because communication by speech is indispensable, for example in the cockpit of aircraft. Noise exposure measurements were performed on pilots of helicopters and propeller-machines of the German Federal Navy during realistic flight situations. The ambient noise levels during regular flight service were maintained at levels between 89 dB and 120 dB. Sound protection by flight-helmets and headphones is not only neutralised while using radio and intercom, but the noise during radio-communication is even louder than the noise of the engines. The use of ear protection to avoid excessive noise exposure is only of limited effectiveness. While pilots with normal hearing show only little impairment of speech intelligibility, those with noise-induced hearing loss show substantial impairment that varies in proportion to their hearing loss. Communication abilities may be drastically reduced which may compromise the reliability of radio-communication. The problem may be possibly solved in future by an electronic compensation system for noise.

Cite this paper

@article{Matschke1987RiskON, title={[Risk of noise-induced hearing loss caused by radio communication? Audiologic findings in helicopter crews and pilots of propeller airplanes].}, author={Rita Matschke}, journal={HNO}, year={1987}, volume={35 12}, pages={496-502} }