How Does Hearing Work?

Understanding how we hear is an important part of understanding how hearing aids work. In this article we will take some time to go over what sound is, how the ear picks up sound and how it sends sound to the brain.

What is sound?

Sound is invisible vibrations traveling through the air. When someone speaks, or a car honks it’s horn or anything else that can make “sound” a vibration is sent creating a disturbance in the air. The air carries that disturbance in the form of waves.

How does the ear pick up sound?

Our ear works as a funnel bringing sound waves into the ear canal and causes the eardrum to vibrate. Attached to the eardrum are three tiny bones, as the eardrum vibrates it moves those bones. Those bones then send the vibration to the cochlea causing the fluid inside to vibrate. The movement of the fluid causes the hairs inside the cochlea to bend.

How does sound make it to the brain?

When the hair cells bend they create signals that are picked up by the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve then sends signals to the brain where it is decoded as sound.

Ear science has a little more information that you might find useful. Click here to read it. Also here’s a short video to help with the explanation as well

Now that you are armed with a little bit of knowledge on how hearing works you’ll be better prepared to discus possible hearing loss and make a more educated decision about which hearing aid might be right for you. If you feel like you might be experiencing a hearing loss of any kind call us at Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ 772-286-4327 and schedule a FREE comprehensive hearing screening by our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.

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