Hearing loss that occurs gradually over time, with age is a very common problem. Medical professionals believe that the genetic factor in combination with a chronic exposure to loud sounds are the main factors that contribute to hearing loss over time. Other factors, such as ear wax blockage or consequences of an injury may also affect hearing loss.
Understanding the Anatomy of The Ear
Potential situations that cause hearing loss are sustaining damage to the inner ear, ear wax buildup, infection and ruptured eardrums. In order to more easily understand the potential impairment of hearing, one should reflect on the origin of the problem, while understanding the physical aspect of hearing. We begin to hear when sound waves come inside our ears, where these wave vibrations become transformed to nerve signals that the mind processes as various sounds.
Each of our ears is divided into three main areas – the outer, middle and inner part of the ear. As various sounds pass through our outer part of the ear, they cause vibrations in the eardrum, which, in combination with three tiny bone structures of the middle part of the ear, increase the vibrations that continue to travel to the inner part. These vibrations pass through the cochlea which consists of nerve cells. Several thousand of miniature hairs help to transform the vibrations of the sound we hear into diverse electrical signals that are later transmitted to the brain. Different sound vibrations affect these microscopic hairs in a number of ways, causing neurons to transmit various messages to your brain, and thus enabling you to identify different kinds of sound.