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Your auditory system is amazing.

The hearing system is complex and wonderfully designed. Learn more here.


Your Hearing

Hearing is a complex sense involving both the ear's ability to detect sounds and the brain's ability to interpret those sounds and assign meaning to them.

Your ear contains three main parts: outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.

Outer ear: The outer ear consists of the ear canal and the ear drum. Sound waves pass through the ear canal and strike the eardrum, causing it to vibrate.

Middle ear: The middle ear is an air-filled cavity behind the eardrum which contains three small bones of hearing called the ossicles. The ossicles attach to the eardrum at one end and to a small opening in the inner ear at the opposite end. When the eardrum vibrates, it causes the ossicles to also vibrate which pushes the sound towards the inner ear.

Inner ear: The inner ear contains the organ of hearing, called the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid filled, snail-shaped, bony structure. Within the cochlea are thousands of tiny hair cells that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals. (These are not like the hair on your head. Hair cells are nerve cells that have tiny projections on them that look like hair, hence the name.) The vibration of the ossicles in the middle ear creates movement of the fluid in the inner ear. The movement of this fluid causes the hair cells to move. This movement triggers the hair cells to release an electrical signal that travels along the auditory nerve to the brain where it's interpreted as sound. Aging and noise exposure can both lead to damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, causing hearing loss and/or tinnitus.
Inner ear

Inner ear
Hair Cells. If damaged or destroyed, hair cells will not grow back.
Source: Image by Peter Gillespie via Cell Image Library.

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Tinnitus help

After several days of more intense symptoms, I started using the device more regularly (including to help going back to sleep in the middle of the night) and I am very pleased to report that I woke this morning hardly noticing the symptoms at all.

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Thank you for being so understanding and patient with me earlier. You're the first person I've spoken to who seems to have an understanding about the condition and not keep telling me, "I just need to live with it".

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