Hearing. About hearing loss, ear anatomy and Operations to improve hearing.

An audiologist can by examining the ear and hearing tests determine the cause of hearing loss and on this basis propose one or in some cases more treatment. Hearing impairment is not only a question of losing the ability to hear soft sounds, but speech understanding and the ability to distinguish words and sounds deteriorates too. It has nothing to do with intelligence, but because the brain no longer receives the signal correctly. For some people it means that it can be difficult to distinguish between certain consonants so that words like 'hat' and 'cat' sound the same. Others find that it is difficult to follow conversations when there is background noise or many speak at once.

How do we hear?

Sound is based on a motion. Be it when the wind moves the trees' branches and leaves, or you hear the gentle guitar music, a quiet evening. Thus we are constantly surrounded by the sounds that "buffer" to the air molecules, which then goes into oscillation. Oscillations called sound waves and can be perceived by the ear. Sound waves are collected by the outer ear and ear canal led through the eardrum. When sound waves hit the eardrum, there is a mechanical vibration of the middle ear, whereby the hammer, anvil and stirrup pushed inward toward the oval window that begins to swing like a small piston. These oscillations are lymph liquid of the cochlea to move. At one point, svingingerne so powerful that the basilar membrane and organ of Corti's hair cells are also in motion. The inner hair cells converts the vibratory energy into the liquid in the inner ear of the electrical energy via the eight cranial nerve transmitted to the brain where it is treated in the auditory center. - Try to think of all the sounds you encounter in everyday life. And imagine a life without all these sounds. It is probably difficult, and hearing is also one of the most important senses.

Ear anatomy

Anatomically divided into the ear pinna (auricle and ear canal), middle ear and inner ear. The ear canal is 2.5 cm long in adults and closed off at the end of the tympanic membrane. In the middle ear led the sound through three small hearing bones from the eardrum to the inner ear. The outer ear consists of the flap-like part mounted on the side of the head called auriklen or pinna, and ear canal. The outer ear function, like a funnel to collect and direct sound waves to the eardrum at the end of the ear canal. And so does the outer ear to protect the middle ear. Middle ear consists of the tympanic membrane, tympanic cavity, bone chain middle ear muscles, the oval and round window and the eustatitiske tubes. Middle ear function is to transmit sound waves from the eardrum to the oval window through the bone chain mechanical motion. The middle ear amplifies simultaneously the sound to compensate for the loss of gain that will be when the sound moves from the air in the middle ear to the fluid in the inner ear. The inner ear function is to transmit electrochemical impulses to the brain, these impulses perceived as sound brain. What happens is that the riser bracket base plate pressed against the oval window membrane, which is thus set into vibration and a shock wave in the liquid is started in the cochlea.

Treatment of hearing loss

When hearing loss is basically two types of treatment, namely hearing aid treatment or surgery. Hearing aid treatment is carried out either through the public hearing clinic or through a private hearing clinic. The hearing aid is often the solution, which is selected when the hearing disorder is located in ear auger, as is the case, for example age-related hearing loss and noise damage. In some cases, hearing function, however, too poor to hearing aid can help for example, by disorders of the ear canal, eardrum or middle ear where the operation of one reason or another can not be offered.

Hearing-improving operations

The ear surgical field treat hearing loss and aural discharge caused by disorders of the ear canal, eardrum and middle ear. Genes that may result from congenital or acquired narrowing of the ear canal. Or it could be the hole in the eardrum caused by middle ear or drainage therapy, and after trauma to the ear. These genes can often be cured by an operation where the eardrum patched together (myringo-plastic). Lack of parts of the middle ear bone chain can usually be operated by 'to move the' on the remaining middle ear bones or by using a kind of prosthesis. Health Care distinguishes between two types of hearing loss:

  • The sensorineural hearing loss: caused by diseases of the inner ear, auditory nerve or brain. It may be due to the delicate hair cells in the inner ear have been destroyed, and therefore no longer capable of converting sound waves vibrations in the fluid of the electrical nerve impulses that the auditory nerve to use. Another possibility is that the auditory nerve has been damaged, so the signals are prevented from reaching the brain. A sensorineural hearing loss can often be corrected with hearing aids.
  • The conductive hearing loss: occur as a result of an abnormal condition in either the ear canal, the tympanic membrane (the external ear) or in the middle ear. This means that the sounds from the outside world does not run normally through the ear canal and middle ear to the inner ear. A conductive hearing loss can often be restored surgically.

Surgical outcome "hearing"

Hearing can only be assessed after several months, but most eardrums will heal up (over 90%) and in most cases also achieved a better hearing in the operated ear. At the same time is rare complications. It will typically be about bleeding or infection in the wound can be easily handled and is irrelevant to the operation result. Surgery is typically done from day to day. Subsequently, one week's recommended recreation.

What can you do about fluid or negative pressure in the ear?

When fluid or negative pressure in the middle ear can even try to cope with this problem, pressure equalization. This means that you take a deep breath and then presses with closed mouth while holding his nose - which, after flying or diving. The process must be carried out several times a day and should preferably involve a 'bubble sound' or a click in your ear. Small children who can not make this exercise can often achieve the effect by using a 'Otovent'. It is a small balloon, which is available at pharmacies and can blow your nose up. - Click here for ear pain, earache and otitis >>


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