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What Contributions Does The External Ear Make To Hearing

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					     What Contributions Does The External Ear Make To
                         Hearing?

                                In order for a person to hear it is essential that
                                sound waves be able to make it from the
                                surrounding     environment    to    the    brain.
                                Anything that impedes this trip will create
                                some kind of hearing loss. In the outer ear, the
                                problem will undoubtedly be a form of
                                conducting disorder. In other words, in order
                                for the ear to hear, the tympanic membrane
                                needs to be able to vibrate. Conductive
disorders inhibit or flat out prevent that conduction.

Think of a guitar string or a chime. When a person strikes or plucks at it, the
object shakes and produces a sound that people readily hear. However, if
you place your fingers on the strings or the chimes, you inhibit them from
vibrating and the sound stops. The eardrum works in exactly the same way.
It vibrates based upon the sound waves in the air, as though the sound
waves were plucking the eardrum. But it is only able to do this as long as
something else isn’t preventing those sound waves from getting there.

Earplugs would be an example of something that would inhibit the sound
waves. Large amounts of earwax operate the same way. Regular gentle
cleaning is recommended to keep the pathways to the eardrum clear. But
warm gentle flow of water is recommended alone. Foreign objects can either
impede flow, or worse, rupture the eardrum itself. If holding the strings of a
guitar down deadens the noise it is able to produce, imagine what snapped
strings gives to you. Old reliable tricks such as using cotton swabs to rub out
your ears are old for a reason. They caused far more harm than good. Risk
of rupturing the eardrum is high as well as leaving behind a trail of old
cotton to further clog the ear.

It is true that washing with trickling warm water may not get rid of all of the
wax. That’s alright. The body produces wax to trap debris that may find its
way down the auditory canal. The goal is not to completely eliminate wax,
but rather to ensure that the sound waves have a clear path to the eardrum.


                   Silver State Hearing & Balance
                         Website: www.SilverStateHearing.com
              3735 Lakeside Drive Suite A, Reno, Nevada 89509
                           775-473-9378
The auricles themselves should also be cared for. While losing them will not
eliminate your ability to hear, it is much more difficult to direct those sounds
down to the eardrums. When fewer sound waves are able to make it to the
eardrum, sounds will tend to be less amplified and, as a result, will be more
difficult to understand.

These are the contributions that the external ear makes to hearing as well as
to hearing loss. Yet there is far more. It is important to understand not only
the external ear, but also the middle ear, and the inner ear. By seeing how
these structures work together, you can get a clearer picture as to how
hearing works.




                   Silver State Hearing & Balance
                         Website: www.SilverStateHearing.com
             3735 Lakeside Drive Suite A, Reno, Nevada 89509
                          775-473-9378

				
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posted:8/14/2012
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