How The Ear Works.

We are made to hear with two ears and most people do, however due to a wide ranging number of causes 1 in 7 adults has some degree of hearing loss. Sadly most of these people wait many years before taking any steps to help improve things.

Normal Hearing.

The Outer Ear

1.

Sound waves enter the outer ear to the eardrum causing it to vibrate.

The Middle Ear

2.

Vibrations travel through the eardrum, which is connected to 3 bones in the middle ear called ossicles. These ossicles amplify the sound before it enters the inner ear.

The Inner Ear

3.

This part of the ear contains a fluid-filled cochlea lined with thousands of tiny hair cells. As the fluid moves, the haircells bend and trigger impulses through auditory nerve.

The Auditory Nerve

4.

These impulses travel up the auditory nerve to the brain, where they are interpreted as meaningful sound.

Hearing Loss.

The Outer Ear

1.

Sound waves enter the outer ear to the eardrum causing it to vibrate.

The Middle Ear

2.

This part of the ear is unaffected by hearing loss. The vibrations travel  to the eardrum, which is connected to three tiny bones in the middle ear called ossicles. The ossicles naturally amplify the sound before it  enters the inner ear.

The Inner Ear

3.

This part of the ear contains a fluid-filled cochlea lined with thousands of tiny hair cells. Hair cells can be damaged or missing along the cochlea. The frequency and severity of hearing loss depends on both the location and number of missing or damaged hair cells.

The Auditory Nerve

4.

Impulses from the remaining intact hair cells travel up the auditory nerve to the brain. Here, the brain may have difficulty interpreting the sound due to the limited acoustic information that can be provided by the functioning hair cells.

Aided Hearing.

The Outer Ear

1.

This part of the ear remains unaffected by hearing loss. Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel to the hearing aid, which amplifies sound to compensate for the missing hair cells in the cochlea.

The Middle Ear

2.

Sound exiting the hearing aid travels to the eardrum, which is connected to three tiny bones called ossicles. The ossicles naturally amplify the sound before it enters the inner ear.

The Inner Ear

3.

At this stage, the sound has been amplified to compensate for the missing sounds. As the fluid moves in waves along the cochlea, a  greater number of intact hair cells are now able to bend and trigger impulses through the auditory nerve.

The Auditory Nerve

4.

Impulses from the increased number of hair cells travel up the auditory nerve to the brain and provide more information than would otherwise be available. This additional information makes it easier for someone with a hearing aid to interpret meaningful sounds.

Most people with a hearing loss are simply suffering from a condition known as presbyacusis which is simply the effects of age and wear and tear to the ears.

Most people with a hearing loss are simply suffering from a condition known as presbyacusis which is simply the effects of age and wear and tear to the ears. Current research is also showing that conditions such asdementia, loneliness and depression are exacerbated when hearing loss is left untreated so it is imperative that people with any of these conditions help themselves as nuch as possible and seek help with their hearing.

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