Learning More About Hearing Loss
To understand hearing health and hearing loss, you should first understand how your ear works to capture sound and transmit it to your brain. The outer ear is designed to capture sounds and funnel them into the ear canal. The sounds enter your ear canal, where they cause vibrations in your eardrum. The eardrum has the job of transferring the sound waves from your outer ear to your inner ear.
As the sound passes through the inner ear, it vibrates tiny hair cells that represent individual frequencies or pitches. If you think about the inner ear as a piano, some hairs represent the highest notes on the piano, and some represent the lowest. As the various hairs vibrate, it triggers transmission of those frequencies to your brain for interpretation of what sound you have heard.
Your ability to hear clearly can be impacted by certain medical conditions, genetics, accidents, prolonged exposure to loud noises, or even aging. We've developed an educational series to help you navigate hearing health and hearing loss. If you find you have any questions along the way, our hearing consultants are standing by to take your call or chat.
Are You Struggling To Hear?
Do you often have to ask family and friends to repeat what they say or have trouble understanding your favorite television shows at a normal volume? Or maybe it's a challenge for you to follow conversations at a noisy restaurant or party. Do you feel fatigued after social interactions or talking on the phone? If any of these situations sound familiar, you might be suffering from hearing loss. You will likely benefit from having your hearing tested by a certified hearing healthcare professional.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Although a very relevant analogy, unlike optical solutions which often add a second lens between your eyes and the light entering them to correct your vision, most hearing loss conditions relate to the ability of your ears and brain to interpret the sounds received by your ears.
Because the correction in hearing loss is not absolute, there's no physical “fix” to give you that perfect “20/20” hearing. In other words, hearing loss is very personal and customized for each individual, and the proper testing and fitting of hearing solutions is critical to getting you as close to normal hearing as is possible. Learning more about the conditions that cause hearing loss can be a great first step in jour journey to better hearing.
Why Are My Ears Ringing? (Tinnitus)
Tinnitus is often a symptom of your brain working harder because it's trying to replace sounds you used to hear. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears can be caused by a number of environmental and physical influences including a physical or emotional condition; especially stress, an underlying hearing loss condition resulting from persistent, frequently occurring Tinnitus, a condition in the middle ear such as wax build up or fluid, underlying hearing loss, or the ringing sensation can be caused by certain medications or, controllable lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption.
Tinnitus due to hearing loss is thought to occur when your mind is trying to 'replace' sounds it once hear with others the brain can process electronically. Tinnitus or otherwise, it’s critical you visit your local hearing healthcare professional to determine if any physical or emotional factors could be contributing to your condition. HearingPlanet knows the best providers in your area and can direct you to the right one.
How Do I Prevent Hearing Loss?
Your ears are sensitive instruments that are capable of picking up fine traces of sound. As time goes by, these abilities are often reduced by environmental factors in life. Despite this, if protected from loud noise or other damaging effects, the ear can provide you with lifetime of full hearing.
Protecting your hearing is very important. Many causes of hearing loss are preventable. Loud concerts or car races are fun, but sudden violent sounds associated with these events can concuss the inner ear and can cause damage at the point where sound is delivered to nerves leading to the brain.
Learn more about hearing loss prevention, and protective devices that can help prevent this type of damage.