Our bodies’ ability to hear is truly miraculous! Our ears are an extremely advanced and sensitive organs, though, we just accept hearing without thinking about it.
When you clap your hands, listen to music, even sing in the shower, the surrounding air vibrates in the form of waves, similar to waves on water. These waves strike the eardrum, which functions much like an actual drum.
The vibrations are transmitted to a fluid contained in a special snail-shaped tube inside the ear called the cochlea. The cochlea is covered with tiny hairs that pick up the vibrations. These vibrations are then transformed into electrical impulses, finally perceived by the brain as sound.
Taking care of our hearing (and our ears) should be a priority.
- Loud music and exposure to loud sounds (such as drilling on a construction site) actually damage the tiny hairs in the cochlea, leading to permanent ear loss. Wear proper approved protection in the workplace, and at home, keep noise (and music) volume at a reasonable level!
- Wear ear plugs if you go to rock concerts or night clubs. Take a break so your ears can rest, and do not stand close to loudspeakers.
- Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear: This traditional advice is just another way of saying, just don’t put anything in your ear. You risk infection, or worse, damaging the ear drum.
- Wear earplugs if swimming in unclean water.
- Ear wax makes its way out of the ear on its own. If you use cotton swabs to remove wax, you risk pushing wax down onto your eardrum, which can increase the production of wax and/or damage the eardrum.
Can you repeat that, please?
According to the Canadian Hearing Society, almost one in every four Canadian adults will experience some form of hearing loss during their lifetime. Statistics Canada (2012-13) estimated that approximately 4.6 million Canadians between ages of 20 to 79 had hearing loss, which works out to be almost 20%!
Loss of hearing can happen at any age, but it definitely relates to aging. Many don’t realize that their hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, while others don’t wish to admit it due to embarrassment.
Addressing hearing loss is important to maintaining good overall health. Hearing loss can affect us on social, psychological and physical levels. It can make us withdraw in social situations, leading to isolation and depression.
Hearing loss can even be physically demanding. Heightened concentration when listening can give you headaches or elevate stress levels and blood pressure.
Get Your Hearing Tested
The best thing you can do if you suspect that you or a loved one has a hearing loss is to book a hearing test at CHS.(Canadian Hearing Society). Certified audiologists can give you advice on managing hearing loss and how to prevent more from occurring.
Whether you need a hearing aid, an assistive listening device or strategies for communication, can help everyone stay connected to the world around you.