The Anatomy of Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss and its Anatomy

Hearing loss is a condition that affects nearly 50 million Americans, most of whom are over the age of fifty. When analyzing the cause of hearing loss, it is important to note how the ear functions and how things such as loud noises, medication, and excessive ear wax can have an impact. Below is some information about the ear, common causes of hearing loss, and what you can do to protect your ears.

Causes of Hearing Loss

The ear is a very sensitive organ and as such it can easily be affected. The most common causes of hearing loss are congenital conditions, exposure to loud noises, illnesses like ear infections, heredity traits, and natural aging. Additionally, things like built up earwax, swimmer’s ear, Otosclerosis, a perforated eardrum, and outer-ear deformities can have an impact on hearing loss.

Many of these things, such as earwax buildup and ear infections cause only a temporary loss of hearing. Other conditions, like frequent exposure to loud noises, can result in a more gradual but permanent loss of hearing. Often, people do not notice a reduction in their hearing they are already turning the television volume up or struggling to hear their loved ones.

How The Ear Functions

Besides the brain, eyes, heart and lungs, the ears are probably the most used organs on the body. We use our ears on a daily basis without thought. Our ears are even processing sound while we sleep. Many times, we do not consider how regular health care can prevent hearing loss. Loss of hearing is usually the result of damage to the ears or any of its structural components.

The major function of the ear, which has three distinct parts, is to analyze noise and help us maintain our equilibrium. The inner ear, which is filled with fluid, has numerous sound receptors that help our brain perceive sound. The outer and middle ear assist with transmitting sound from the outside world to our inner ear. In addition, the inner ear also helps us maintain our balance and coordination.

Caring For Your Ear

Taking healthy hearing care measures to protect your ears can and will save you from accidental damage of the inner ear. Measures such as wearing ear plugs when in loud noise environments can protect your ears from damage. Also, whenever possible, give your ears a rest. In other words, when you expose yourself to harsh, loud noises, allow some quiet time a few minutes out of every hour exposed.

To learn more about protecting your ears, please contact Beltone Tristate today.