Hearing loss is more common than you think.
How do we hear?
Before we talk about how we lose our hearing, it’s a good idea to explore how we are able to hear in the first place.
- Hearing begins when sound enters the outer ear (the part of the ear you can see) and into the ear canal. The sound then hits the the eardrum in the middle ear.
- In the middle ear, the eardrum vibrates in response to the sound, and these vibrations are transmitted into the inner ear.
- Within the inner ear is an organ called the cochlea and the hearing nerve. These have the task of converting sound waves into nerve impulses that get transferred to the brain through tiny hair cells.
- The brain processes these signals, which are then understood as sound.
Causes of Hearing Loss
One of the most common misconceptions about hearing loss is that it is only experienced by those who are retired or older.
The primary causes of hearing loss are:
- Chronic exposure to noise
- Family history of hearing loss
- Certain diseases
- Head trauma
Types of Hearing Loss
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Improved Physical Independence
Those who treat their hearing loss will immediately notice improvements in their independence. They no longer have to rely on their spouse to repeat things, or answer the phone. They will feel much more at ease in their environments because they are able to hear things on their own. They will value their newfound independence hearing affords them and their confidence will continue to grow.