Educational resources on hearing loss and your health.
Hearing Health Support in
How Does Hearing Work?
Your hearing is an important part of your overall health and well-being. You need your hearing to effectively communicate with loved ones, friends, and coworkers. The auditory system is complex and requires a number of functions to work properly. How we hear is broken down into a few parts.
- Sound is transmitted through air as sound waves. The sound waves are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.
- The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, setting the tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.
- The motion of these bones causes fluid in the inner ear, cochlea, to move.
- The movement of this fluid in the inner ear causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend and change into electrical impulses.
- These electrical impulses are transmitted to the hearing nerve and sent up to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Hearing and Cognition
We don’t really hear with our ears; we hear with our brain. Your brain needs sounds in order to stay active and healthy. When left untreated, hearing loss will affect your ability to hear certain sounds and frequencies. You may even begin to socially isolate yourself from other people due to feelings of embarrassment of not being able to hear well. This can eventually lead to social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline.
The brain needs sounds to make sense of the world and to maintain a healthy memory. Hearing aids are a great solution for any degree of hearing loss because they will provide your brain with the necessary sounds it needs to stay active and healthy.
Signs of Hearing Loss
It can be difficult to recognize the signs of hearing loss because it often happens gradually, over a few years. Some common signs of hearing loss are: