Hearing is one of our most critical senses. While we can certainly live without it, many of our cultural ideas and touchstones rely on our ability to hear. But, how does hearing work? The answer, while complicated, can be explained relatively easily. Different parts of the ear help us to hear, and when damaged, some of these can be replicated using technology. Today, we’ll walk you through the science of how we hear, and how we’ve learned to make hearing devices.
Inside The Ear
When we process sound, it goes through several steps before it becomes something that we can truly hear. Sounds funnel into the ear canal, which is shaped like a spiral and cause vibrations within the eardrum. These vibrations affect the fluid and hairs within the cochlea and transmit to the auditory nerve. When this series of events is triggered the nerve sends the information it receives to the brain where it translated into understandable information.
Hearing Device Science
When there is an issue within the ear, as can often happen, the technology of hearing devices comes to the rescue. With the invention of digital technology, the capabilities of hearing products have increased exponentially. Some of the first hearing aids on the market were analog hearing devices; these were fairly straightforward with minimum customization. They were used to amplify all speech and noise frequencies with no distinction. As they developed, they gained the ability to have multiple settings for different environments. Digital Hearing aids use some of the same features as their analog cousins, but they contain a small computer chip that helps to filter and analyze sounds for better performance. One of the best examples of their ability to filter is that if the wearer is in a busy restaurant, a digital hearing aid will only allow the sounds of speech to be passed through rather than the significant background noise.
Contact Bay Area Audiology Today!
Ready to change the way you look at hearing loss? Our Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Trisha A. Bents Muth, is exceptionally experienced in the art of audiology, and is dedicated to providing the absolute best solutions. Bay Area Audiology has been working to give patients a comfortable environment, with thorough evaluations. We are independently owned, and unbiased when it comes to finding you the care you need.
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