Those with hearing loss know exactly how sensitive and fragile the human auditory system can be. If you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss, a hearing test may be in order. In the meantime, read the following to gain a better understanding of just exactly how people are able to hear.
The Outer Ear
The hearing process is complex, and it takes place in three large sections of the ear. The outer ear is exactly what it sounds like: the external part of the hearing system. The outer or external ear is the portion of the ear that you can see. The unique folds and twists in our earlobes and cartridge help to amplify the vibrations from sound waves into the ear canal.
The Middle Ear
The sound collected through the ear canal travels to the tympanic membrane, more commonly known as the eardrum. The middle ear is the space between the eardrum and the intricate inner ear. The middle ear is home to a group of three small bones called the ossicles: the malleus, incus, and stapes. As vibration strike the eardrum, resonate vibrations are sent on to the ossicles.
The Inner Ear
The inner ear is home to the vestibular (essential for balance) and the cochlea (essential for hearing). The cochlea is coiled and filled with fluid. When the ossicles vibrate, they push a small membrane-sheathed hole called the oval window causing the cochlear fluid to move. As the cochlear fluid moves about, it stimulates tiny hairs inside of the cochlea. These hairs create signals that are finally passed onto the brain as nerve impulses. The brain’s auditory system sorts out the impulses and determines what the ear is in fact hearing. The ear’s anatomy is sensitive to say the least. Damage to any of its delicate parts can lead to hearing loss.
For more information about the hearing process and how to prevent and manage hearing loss, contact Dunshaw Hearing Aid Centers in New York. Our state-licensed audiological services cover everything from hearing tests to hearing aid technology. Call (888) 903-6717 to make an appointment.