How We Hear
- The ear gathers sound-waves and funnels them down the ear canal.
- The canal creates a resonance that emphasizes frequencies important to speech.
- These sound waves hit the eardrum (tympanic membrane) causing it to vibrate.
- That vibration causes the three tiny bones in the middle ear (Malleus, incus, stapes) to vibrate, amplify, and transmit the signal to the oval window of the inner ear.
- The oval window vibrates causing fluid to move inside the cochlea, which causes movement of hair cells connected to nerve endings which convert this movement into electrical signals.
- From the cochlea, the auditory nerve carries the electrical signals to the brain for interpretation.
The brain can only decipher the information that it receives. The most common hearing loss could be described as deterioration of the hair cells attached to the nerves in the cochlea that handle high-frequency tones. Speech is made up of consonants and vowels. Those high frequencies are where we find most of the consonant sounds. Those are the sounds that give us clarity and distinction.
The problem isn’t that you can’t hear. The way you hear is full of holes. It’s like playing “guess that tune” where you get a few notes of a song and you have to guess the song. You might get enough notes to recognize the song, or maybe not. Sometimes, you just don’t hear enough of the right frequencies to understand the words.
At Richard Polhill Professional Hearing Solutions, we can help make the connections that you may be missing. Make an appointment today to see what we can do for you. We may even be able to help with Tinnitus through use of hearing devices or hearing aids.
Tinnitus relief may be as easy as addressing your hearing loss. Many of the hearing aids we fit today have tinnitus masker sound generators that may be helpful with your tinnitus.