Ear with sound waves


A journey through the ear 

How does hearing actually work?

The path from the ear to the brain determines the acoustic result. From hearing to understanding: On this page, we will take you on a journey through the ear and show you how hearing works. Only when the sound can make this journey through the ear into the brain without any problems is it perceived as speech, music, the ring of a telephone or some other sound. For this reason, the proper functioning of your ears is crucial for whether you correctly react as a hearing person and can participate in life as usual.
schematic of the ear

A journey through the ear

Sounds are waves. They are collected by the 1) concha and directed through the 2) auditory canal to the 3) eardrum. The eardrum begins to vibrate and thus transmits the sound waves to the small bones in the 4) middle ear. A membrane transfers the vibrations on to the 5) cochlea. Hair sensory cells are set into motion there and the sound waves are converted into nerve impulses. Finally the 6) auditory nerve sends the impulses to the brain where they are perceived as sounds and deciphered.

The first signs of slowly diminishing hearing ability are difficult to identify: This is why many people either hardly notice or do not notice the initial signs of decreased hearing over long periods at all and they therefore ignore them. Hearing experts recommend having hearing ability checked when initial signs appear. Pay attention to your ears – the earlier, the better. Read more about how to avoid hearing loss here

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