Qualified Impartial Advice For All Hearing Problems
Let's Talk About Hearing Loss
Discover Your Hearing
The world is calling you back
The ability to hear is such an integral part of life that most people take it for granted. Hearing is a gift, but do we place enough value on it? Hearing loss is the world's single most
Benefits of hearing well with both ears
Why we have two ears – Our two ears act as a type of receiving station for the brain. One ear is directed to the left, the other to the right. When the ears pick up a sound, the brain calculates the angle from which the sound has arrived. The brain has this capability since the closest ear receives the sound microseconds earlier than the other ear.
With only one ear functioning properly, origin of sound is impossible to determine. Even more importantly, the quality of sound is better when it is heard with two ears. Speech received by only one ear sounds flat and devoid of its rich nuances. In most cases, two hearing instruments are fitted to those with impaired hearing in both ears.
Function and dysfunction of the ear – The ear is a very complex organ comprising of three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Hearing loss can result from damage to any of these three parts. Hearing loss resulting from a problem located in the outer or middle ear is called a conductive hearing loss.
From the inner ear the auditory nerve transmits information to the brain. Hearing loss caused by a damaged inner ear is called a sensorineural hearing loss. A combination of a conductive and sensorineural hearing loss is known as a mixed hearing loss.
How Your Ear Functions
Parts of the ear
The outer ear
The outer ear includes the pinna, the auditory can and the eardrum. These structures channel sounds from the environment into the middle ear. The pinna helps to gather sound waves and the auditory canal directs them to the eardrum.
The middle ear
The middle ear is an air-filled cavity that contains the smallest bones in the human body - the malleus, incus and stapes, which are connected to the eardrum and the inner ear. The Eustachian tube keeps the air pressure in the middle ear equal to that of the surrounding environment.
The inner ear
In the inner ear, sound is processed by the cochlea, while information affecting balance is processed by the semicircular canals. There are tiny hair cells along the entire length of the fluid filled cochlea. When the fluid in the cochlea is displaced by sound waves, the hair cells bend. This triggers a chemical response that transmits the message to the area of the brain in charge of processing and interpreting what we hear.