The ability to hear is a unique thing, which we take for granted. Around the world there are over 225 million people who are unable to rely on hearing to process information. This article will explain how the ear works to produce the sounds we hear and also more importantly it will advise you on how to maintain healthy ears.
How Hearing Works
Hearing is quite an incredible sense, when you consider what the process actually consists of – it allows us to perceive sound made by others into words by detecting vibrations in the air. This process is fundamentally undertaken by our eardrum. The eardrum is a thin membrane and its main function is to transmit sound from the air, along the basilar membrane which is found in the inner ear.
Before I continue, here’s an interesting fact which involves a completely different culture and their unusual tradition. The Bajau Tribe who originate from the Pacific have a different way of treating their ears, here it is common place to pierce the ear drum at a young age, this is to assist diving and hunting underwater, but in turn are known to be hard of hearing.
Back on track, the hearing process is continuing in the basilar membrane where the vibrations have now approached, inside this membrane are hair cells, which detect the intensity and location of the vibrations in the membrane, they record this and at that point send that information to the brain through the auditory nerve. Completing this brief but detailed procedure we are able to process the words and sounds we hear on a day to day basis.
Common Ear Trouble
Throughout our lives we all have experienced ear trouble whether it’s a minor ear ache to a major hearing issue.
The most common ear troubles that people across the world experience are as followed; Otitis media which is more commonly known as your standard ear ache, this infection occurs in the middle ear (the area internal to the eardrum), common causes of this are swimming, common cold or ear trauma. Remedies used for this infection are painkillers, the most popular treatment mainly used for less serve cases. Most cases of Otits Media not known to last more than 5-6 days, if pain persists it is recommended that you seek medical advice who will possibly recommend an antibiotic treatment.
Another common ear complaint is Ear Wax Blockage, which is caused by the hair follicles and glands that produce waxy oil called cerumen. If this was too build up, symptoms would include; earache, fullness in the ear or a sensation that the ear is plugged and partial hearing loss, which may get worse depending on the severity of the blockage. Treatment for this ear problem that could be considered are baby oil, ear treatments and Mineral oils. All of these are able to soften the ear wax for removal, which in time will ease discomfort.
Maintaining Healthy Ears the Do’s and Don’ts
To prevent any future ear problems, it is crucial to maintain an ear cleansing routine. Your ears must be regularly cleaned. for example use a moist clean and soft cloth to clean your external ear, then for the inside of your ear use drops which soften the wax and will help dislodged wax from your ear canal. Finally make sure after a bath or shower your ears are dried gently to remove any remaining moisture. There are don’ts when it comes to ear hygiene and they are as followed; Don’t use Q-tips or cotton buds they just compact the ear wax in your ear and this will lead to ear wax build up over a period of time if cotton buds are continually in use. Don’t use a finger nail or sharp object to remove ear blockage and finally Don’t use a process called “ear candling” also known as auricular candling to assist your ear hygiene regime.
Finally I will touch on what can cause hearing loss and what can be done for someone suffering from hearing impairment.
Deafness to summarize is a condition where the ability to detect certain frequencies of sound is completely or partially impaired. There are two different type of hearing loss:
· Conductive Hearing Loss:
Which is an impairment caused from a dysfunction of mechanisms that help sound waves move through the outer ear and eardrum
· Sensorineural Hearing Loss
This is normally present from birth with abnormalities in the hair cells, stopping for any signals to be processed and understood.
The severity of hearing loss can measured in decibels the patient can hear, with it ranked as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe or profound and the latter person would not be able to hear anything that is 91dB or greater.
For some people hearing loss can not be prevented, with it unfortunately being instilled in their genes. Other people though who gain hearing loss due to old age or accidents could seek assistance from hearing aids but does not benefit every circumstance.
Hearing Aids are only really a demi-cure for hearing loss. They are worn behind the patients ear and is designed to amplify and modulate sound, directing it down the ear canal. So hearing aids are not a cure – they are just helping to make sound more accessible.
Source by Lewis G James