Understand How Hearing Works

The auditory system is a very complex subject. But it’s important you understand how nature intended hearing to work. And to compare that with what happens with a person who has hearing loss.

This knowledge will help you to feel more comfortable and confident that you are making the right choice for you, your child or loved one.


1. Sounds enter the ear canal and travel to the eardrum.

2. These sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, sending the bones in the middle ear into motion.

3. Tiny hair cells inside the inner ear (cochlea) convert this motion into electric impulses/signals. The ear has over 25,000 tiny hair cells to help you hear the varying degrees of sound.

4. These impulses/signals go up the hearing (auditory) nerve to the brain. The brain interprets the impulses/signals as sound and gives meaning to the information.

If any part of the outer, middle or inner ear isn’t working properly, your hearing may be affected. To gain a better understanding of hearing loss, read about the various types and degrees of hearing loss.

Many people who suffer from hearing loss choose to ignore the symptoms altogether. Little do they know, not treating hearing loss has a wide range of negative effects.1,2


  1. Kochkin, S. Consequences of Hearing Loss. Better Hearing Institute [Internet]. 2013 [Cited 2013 July]. Available from: http://www.betterhearing.org/hearing_loss/consequences_of_hearing_loss/index.cfm
  2. Kochkin, S. & Rogin, C. Quantifying the Obvious: The Impact of Hearing Aids on Quality of Life. The Hearing Review. 2000 Jan;7(1):8-34.