Education on hearing loss and health.
How We Hear
How we hear involves a complex system. In order to properly diagnose hearing loss and find a suitable treatment option, it’s important to understand how the ears work and how they translate sound.
- First sound is transmitted through the air as sound waves. The sound waves are collected by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.
- These sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, setting the tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.
- The motion of these tiny 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 into sound.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Adults
Often times, we lose our hearing gradually, over the course of a few years. For this reason, it can be difficult to notice a problem with your hearing because you have become accustomed to not hearing certain sounds. Some common signs of hearing loss to look out for include:
Hearing and Cognition
Hearing is directly connected to the brain. We don’t actually hear with our ears, we “hear” when sound travels through the ears up to the auditory cortex of the brain. In the brain is where sound is translated into information and stored into our memories. Healthy hearing is a key part in having an active and healthy brain.
When left untreated, hearing loss can have a negative impact on our brain health, cognitive abilities, and overall well-being. Studies have proven a connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Those who have hearing loss may socially isolate themselves from other people because they may feel ashamed of their hearing loss. Without social interactions and conversations, you can develop feelings of loneliness, depression, and even dementia. Your brain relies on your hearing to stay healthy.
The best way to prevent cognitive decline and to keep your brain healthy is by wearing hearing aids to treat hearing loss. Hearing aids will provide you with the sounds you have been missing and can give you the confidence to rejoin the conversation again.
Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of hearing a noise inside your ears or head when no external sound is present. Tinnitus is usually subjective, which means only the person with it can hear it. Those with tinnitus most often experience the symptoms at night when their world is quiet.
Tinnitus can range from constant or intermittent, soft or loud, mild to severe, or in one or both ears. The signs of tinnitus include hearing a ringing, buzzing, humming, whistling, or whooshing sound in the ears. People of all ages can experience tinnitus, even children. If you or your child is suffering from annoying ringing in the ears, contact us today. Our audiologists can evaluate your hearing and help you experience relief from tinnitus.