HEARING LOSS/HOW THE EAR WORKS

Learn More About Your Ears and Hearing

Stay Educated About Your Hearing With Us

Come Hear Hearing Center has been providing outstanding hearing testing and hearing aid service to clients for over 20 years. Part of our success has been due to our dedication to educating our clients about the various aspects of hearing, so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their hearing. Learn more about how the ear works and hearing loss with us!
How hearing works

How Does the Ear Pick Up Sound?

There are a few major parts to your ear that are vital for detecting sound. The first is the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum. It's made of layers of skin stretched tight. As sound comes in through the ear canal, your outer ear acts as a resonator to amplify certain pitches or frequencies of sound before they reach your ear drum. When the sound reaches the ear drum, the ear drum begins to vibrate.

Attached to the ear drum are three tiny bones, the Hammer (Malleous), the Anvil (Incus), and Stirrup (Stapes). These bones transfer the ear drum vibration to hydraulic waves in the inner ear where nerves pick up the sound and transfer it to the brain. The inner ear, known as the Cochlea, is a fluid-filled bony labyrinth housing thousands of tiny hair cells that detect the pitch of the pressure waves and convert them into electrical impulses for the brain to receive and interpret.
Hearing loss

What Is Hearing Loss?

The majority of hearing difficulties or hearing loss is due to sensorineural or nerve hearing losses. This occurs due to damage to the inner ear (Cochlea) or the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. In most cases, this cannot be medically or surgically corrected. As the most common type of hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss reduces your ability to hear faint sounds. Even when speech is loud enough to be heard, it may still be unclear or muffled due to this type of hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss is gradual, often caused by years of loud noises slowly eroding our hearing and lessening the sharpness and clarity of speech. Constant noise from power tools, factories, guns, lawn mowers, headphones, and daily traffic wear down our sense of hearing.

Some hearing loss is caused by damage to the outer or middle ear, in addition to the inner ear or auditory nerve. This is referred to as mixed hearing loss, combining both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. The severity of mixed hearing loss can range from mild to profound, making sounds softer in volume and more difficult to understand.
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