Hearing begins when sound waves enter the outer ear (the visible portion of the
ear located on the outside of the head) and are channeled down the
canal, a tube-like passageway lined with tiny hairs and small glands that
At the end of the
auditory canal lies the
middle ear, which is composed of the
eardrum and three small bones, known by the layman as the hammer, the
anvil, and the stirrup. When sound waves hit the
eardrum, it vibrates and, in
turn, moves the hammer. The hammer moves the anvil, which moves the
stirrup, transmitting the vibrations into the inner ear. The
middle ear functions to
amplify sound, which is why significant hearing loss can result from any
disruption in any of its parts.
The inner ear consists of the
cochlea and the nerve of hearing. It converts
sound waves into nerve impulses that travel to the brain via the movement of
tiny hair cells. It is the brain that allows you to hear…as long as the message
it is receiving is not distorted due to problems in the process just described.
The brain then interprets these electrical signals as sound.
Your sense of hearing
is a vital link to your
world - a source of
If you have a hearing
loss you can take
control of the situation.
Hearing loss should not
get in the way of
enjoying your life.