Monday, September 3, 2012

Visit a Hearing Center to Learn About How You Hear

A hearing center is a location that specializes in providing testing and services for individuals experiencing a loss or with other types of concerns with the functional aspects of their ears. Though you may not think about them often, the ears are incredibly important for so much beyond just the ability to hear. They also control your balance, for example. When you begin to be unable to hear what others are saying, it may be time to turn to a professional at a hearing center to find out what is happening.
How the Ear Works
The ear's inner workings are amazing. The actual process of hearing starts when sound waves reach the internal structures inside the ear. The vibrations from the sound waves are converted at that point into signals sent through the nerves. The brain recognizes those signals and assigns them a specific description. This is how you know the difference between the sound of a car horn and singing.
There are three main portions of the ear: the outer portion, which is most recognizable as the ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Each portion has a different job to do in the process of interpreting sound waves. When sound waves approach the ear, they are passed from the outer portion into the inner portion. This creates vibrations on the eardrum. The middle ear has three very small bones. These amplify the vibrations significantly, as they travel into the inner ear. Then, the vibrations continue even further into the cochlea. This structure holds fluid and connects the nerve cells to the ear. These nerve endings are very tiny hairs. There are thousands of them present in this area. They help translate the sounds of the vibrations into electrical signals. Your brain then receives these electrical signals and can interpret the vibrations into the sounds they actually are. Different sound vibrations have a different effect on these tiny hairs.
Often, there is damage to some portion of this structure that limits the transmission of sound into the ear and through the various portions so you can interpret it. As people age, various components of the inner workings of the ear can break down, leading to a loss of hearing ability.
In some cases, it is possible to restore some or all of a person's ability to hear by simply helping to amplifying sound. This can bee done by using a device placed inside the ear. By visiting a hearing center, you can learn more about this process, as well as what you can expect from the use of such a device. Doctors can help determine which portion is not working well and fit you for a device to improve sound quality in some situations.