Protect Against Hearing Loss
Chapa-De Indian Health Auburn Grass Valley | Medical Clinic
Often times we take our ability to hear for granted. There are many things we do every day in our lives that hurt our ability to hear. Today, we want to think about these things and make better, safer choices for our hearing.
When we talk about hearing, we are talking about your ears being able to listen and interpret information through sound. For example, when someone speaks to you, it is your hearing that receives that information, sends it to your brain, and then allows you to respond. Hearing allows you to interpret different social and environmental situations and respond to them.
Why is hearing important?
Hearing is important because it allows you to understand the environment you are in and enrich your life. When you hear a happy sound like a child laughing or a bird chirping or a favorite song, your overall energy becomes more positive. While full and healthy lives can be lived without hearing, protecting your hearing when you can is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
How hearing works
When you hear, your ears detect vibrations. The different parts of you ear allow you to take those vibrations and convert them to information. These are the parts of the ear that make your hearing possible:
- The Outer Ear refers to the parts of the ear you can see. The purpose of the outer ear is to detect noise and vibrations and direct those sounds into your eardrum.
- The Middle Ear is a small chamber in the middle of the eardrum. The three smallest bones in your body are found here, and they are responsible for amplifying and transferring sound from the eardrum to the inner ear.
- The Inner Ear is where vibrations are processed into the sound we hear. Here, the cochlea sends electrical signals to the brain, where you interpret sound in words and other noises.
- Click HERE for more information on how hearing works.
Hearing vs. listening
Hearing and listening are not the same. Listening is something you make a conscious decision to do. For example, when someone is talking to you, you can decide if you are going to pay attention and listen, or not.
Hearing is not a conscious decision, it is the medical ability of your ears to detect sound and noise. However, you cannot listen without hearing, and both are important aspects of everyday life.
What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss refers to cases where someone’s ears are not able to hear as well as they were meant to. When this happens, some people get hearing aids, or small devices placed in the ear, to help improve their hearing.
Hearing loss can happen as the result of an accident, injury or infection, or as a result of genetic conditions.
There are many types of hearing loss. Here are a few:
- Mild hearing loss is when someone has trouble keeping up with conversation, especially when it is noisy.
- Moderate hearing loss is when someone may need a hearing aid to keep up with conversation.
- Severe hearing loss is when someone cannot hear without the help of a strong hearing aid.
- Profound hearing loss means that someone is extremely hard of hearing, and likely relies on lip reading or sign language to communicate.
How can we protect our hearing?
There are many ways you can protect your hearing. Here are a few:
- Use earplugs around loud noises
- Turn the volume down on your devices
- Stop using cotton swabs
- Give your ears time to recover
- Keep your ears dry
- Get regular checkups
- Click HERE for more ways to protect your hearing.
Seeing your medical provider for an annual check-up or wellness exam is also a good way to protect your hearing – be sure to talk with your provider about any concerns or questions you may have about your hearing.
If you or someone you know has questions or is concerned about their hearing, please call our Auburn location at (530) 887-2810 or our Grass Valley location at (530) 477-8545 or visit us online at chapa-de.org.
PASSIONATE PEOPLE. COMPASSIONATE CARE.
Chapa-De provides medical care, dental care, optometry, behavioral health, pharmacy services and much more.
Serving all American Indian, Low Income and Limited Income Community
Chapa-De Indian Healthcare Auburn Grass Valley