Sound enters the ear and travels down the ear canal. When it reaches the ear drum the sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate.
The vibrating eardrum causes the 3 bones, Malleus, Incus, and Stapes to vibrate. The Stapes is connected to the Cochlea.
The inside of the Cochlea is filled with liquid that interacts with fine hairs that have nerve cells attached to them. Different hair cells are responsible for detecting different frequencies of vibration. This effectively converts the vibration into electrical signals. These signals are transmitted via the auditory nerve to a nucleus in the brainstem.
The Brainstem receives the signal from both ears and can process information about balance, sound direction and help to focus on certain sounds, such as speech. The combines signal is then transferred to the auditory cortex.
The Auditory cortex is part of our conscious brain and is responsible for speech recognition.
Importance of Hearing
Hearing is a very important part of communication. it allows us to communicate. To socialize with friends. To alert us of trouble and work more effectively. Healthy hearing even helps us relax.
Life without hearing is almost unimaginable to someone with healthy hearing, so if you or someone you know has difficulty hearing, a hearing assessment is vital.