Have you found yourself challenged at dinner with friends or missing out on conversation in which everyone is laughing?     Something that we may take for granted is hearing but what is interesting is that many do indeed have a problem with hearing especially as we age.  In a group setting, I found myself repeating the conversation several times.  Initially I thought perhaps others were focused on something else but after having a direct eye to eye conversation it was obvious that something was amiss.  How come my speech was so difficult to hear?  It was time to investigate and explore.  My journey is only beginning but what I am learning is so fascinating.

Did you know that we don’t only use our ears to hear but sound travels through our ear and is then interpreted by the brain?  We actually hear with our ears and brain!  Sounds travels down the ear canal to our eardrum.  The movement of the eardrum makes the tiny bones in the middle of our ear vibrate.  These vibrations are transmitted to the inner ear (cochlea) which have sensory hair cells that transmit to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.   This is how the magic of hearing works.

There are varying degrees of hearing loss and it can be in both or just one ear.   My sister recently took a trip an island and while enjoying spelunking she contracted a bacterial infection which resulted in a loss of hearing in her right ear.   Repeated and varying antibiotics haven’t helped.  She is essentially now deaf in one ear and is wearing a hearing aid.   I have another relative whom worked around machines for over 30 years and essentially been deaf and dependent on a hearing aid for about 20 of those years.  I wonder what will happen to the current generation that seems to have ear buds connected all the time.  Advanced in hearing are happening but is it fast enough?   What are your experiences?


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