Your Hearing

Hearing is one of the five senses. It is a complex process of picking up sound and attaching meaning to it. The ability to hear is critical to understanding the world around us. Your ears are extraordinary organs. They pick up all the sounds around you and then translate this information into a form your brain can understand. One of the most remarkable things about this process is that it is completely mechanical. Your sense of smell, taste and vision all involve chemical reactions, but your hearing system is based solely on physical movement.

“Of course, hearing is also one of our senses!” A most familier remarks when trying to list the five senses, but getting stuck after only four:sight, smell, taste, touch, and …?  Hearing is a sense often taken for granted.


Outer Ear

The outer ear collects sound waves and funnels these through the ear canal towards the eardrum.


ear-worksMiddle Ear

Struck by sound waves, the eardrum begins to vibrate; consequently, the vibration triggers the rapid movement of three tiny bones (the ossicular chain) within the middle ear. Through this process sound is intensified before reaching the inner ear through the oval window (a membrane).                                                                                               

 Inner Ear

Sound waves passing through the oval window initiate a wave-like movement of fluid within the cochlea. As a result, thousands of sensory hair cells are activated and, in turn, electric signals are generated. Via the acoustic nerve, the signals travel to the brain, where they are recognized as sounds.


How our ear works

Source: Bernafon Canada Ltd.