Human hearing is a complicated process. Our range of hearing frequency is measured using Hertz (Hz), while our ability to identify sounds is measured using Decibels (dB). Our ears are delicate organs, and the process of hearing is as sensitive as it is intricate.
Our ears are comprised of three different parts: The outer, the middle, and the inner ear. Your outer ear comprises of the ear lobe and the externally visible portion of the ear. This part of the ear is responsible for accumulating sound waves as well as locating the source of sounds. As the sound waves travel into the ear, they reach the middle ear.
The middle ear consists of three small bones, known as the ossicles. These crucial yet fragile bones amplify and send sound impulses towards your inner ear. Once the sound waves reach your inner ear, they are converted into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain via the auditory nerve.
You are basically able to hear due to a vital organ known as the cochlea, which is a tiny structure that is shaped like a shell. It is full of tubes containing liquid and fragile hair follicles. The deterioration of these delicate hair follicles is what often results in hearing loss, since they are unable to regenerate.
The human hearing is actually not as good as other animals in the animal kingdom, since the range of frequencies that we can hear is rather limited. Various sound frequencies are inaudible to us, such as those in a dog whistle which are audible to dogs.
The frequency (or the varying quantity of vibrations measured each second) is what we measure in Hz. Humans hear frequencies that range anywhere between 20Hz-20,000Hz. The ability to hear in one or both extreme ranges of these frequencies tends to deteriorate with age the development of hearing loss. The average human is mostly accustomed to hearing frequencies that range anywhere between 1000Hz to 3500Hz. As it seems, our hearing is rather limited.
Due to our limited hearing capacities, it becomes even more vital to preserve your hearing while you still have it. When it comes to hearing health, prevention is definitely better than the cure, since there IS no known cure for hearing loss. Hearing aids can help effectively manage your condition, but they do not eliminate hearing loss entirely.
We live in a noisy world full of sounds that many of us can avoid. Be it the loud shouts during the sports game, or the loud blast of music that we subject ourselves to, we unwittingly cause our hearing loss by increasing the volume levels all around us in our daily lives. We can preserve our hearing despite living in this noisy world by engaging in safe hearing practices.
Always wear hearing protection before exposing yourself to loud noises. Additionally, turn down music volumes and the volume on television to a comfortable level (never exceed more than 60% of the available volume). After the age of 50, get your hearing examined professionally once each year to detect any early signs of hearing loss and seek timely treatment for loss of hearing.
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