How We Hear?

Hearing is a result of sound transferring through the intricate workings of our auditory system to the brain.

How our hearing works?

Whilst it is a complex process, we can separate the ear into three main areas to help us understand its function. The sound waves are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum. The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, which sets the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion. The motion of the bones causes the fluid in the inner ear or cochlea to move.

  • The Outer Ear

    This consists of the Pinna and the Ear Canal, and its main function is to enable the clear passage of sound to the ear drum. Any obstruction in the ear canal, such as excess cerumen, or ear wax, will impede the flow of sound and impact the ability to hear.

  • The Middle Ear

    Considered the mechanical amplification system within the ear, sound hits the ear drum causing it to vibrate. The 3 smallest bones in the body known as the ossicles, are connected to the drum and vibrate in turn, and this chain of vibration transfers sound energy to the inner part of the ear. The middle ear system is an air-filled space but can also be the site of common ear infections, limiting the movement within the space and hence impacting on hearing.

  • The Inner Ear

    Is where sound is divided up into different pitches which are then sent to the brain for interpretation. The pulsing of the ossicles onto the inner ear causes movement of fluid contained in the cochlear, which results in tiny hair like cells moving. These cells transfer specific pitch or tone information to connecting nerve fibres, creating an electrical signal that is sent higher into the brain, where we can then process the information as sound.

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Free Online Hearing Test

Hearing tests check a person’s ability to hear the loudness and pitch of sounds. Some reasons why you may need a hearing test include ringing in your ears, others companing that you talk too loud or watch the TV on high volume, or simply you have trouble hearing conversations.

While there’s no replacement for a consultation with a hearing-care expert, our free online hearing screening can provide some quick and useful feedback about your hearing. The screening should be carried out in quite space and all you need is a pair of headphones!

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