Hearing Aid Ratings - Hearing Aid Reviews

Whilst trying to find a hearing aid instrument for our mother, we found a lot of interesting facts that could possibly help others get to know more about the world of hearing loss. Here we will show how we did the hearing aid comparisons and some hearing aid ratings. Join us in the quest of reviewing and comparing the best hearing aids.

What Is Hearing Loss?

We often say to each other that we can not hear! But, hearing loss can be quite dangerous and can affect many aspects of your life, as safety and productivity is impaired. If left undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to various other complications such as depression, frustration, social isolation, loss of confidence and independence.

Hearing loss is the decreased ability to hear and can happen suddenly or gradually. Depending on a few factors, such as the cause, hearing loss can be permanent, temporary, mild or severe.

The term hearing loss is quite a general term, as there are different levels and types of hearing loss in different people. The hearing impairment of each individual will be unique and some people learn to adjust well to slow down the hearing loss. For others, some do not even realise that they are losing their hearing, especially if they work in noisy environments.

As we grow older, the sensory hair cells (which detect the vibrations), located on the cochlea of the inner ear, gradually begin to die. This coincides with deterioration in the hearing. In addition, exposing our ears to loud noises distort and damage the sensory hair cells, which results in the loss of transmission of incoming sounds to the brain, therefore, leading to permanent loss of hearing.

How The Ears Work

I don’t really know how our ears actually work – so I had to research it so that I could tell Mum. Here is a brief summary of how the ears function.
Our ears are made up of three sections called the outer ear, middle and inner ear, with each section serving its own purpose in the detection and interpretation of sound.

Sounds reach our ears as sound waves and the function of the outer ear is to concentrate the sound waves by channelling it via the pinna (or auricle). This acts like a funnel to amplify the sound and direct the sound waves into the ear canal, then to the ear drum.

The ear canal and middle ear are separated by the oval shaped ear drum, which is made up of a very thin, semi-transparent membrane, approximately 1cm in diameter. When sound waves hit the ear drum, it vibrates and transfers these vibrations on to three small bones in the middle ear called ossicles. These three bones are called hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes). The middle ear section is filled with air and almost sealed, as a result to equalise the internal pressure with the outside, the Eustachian tube exists and is connected to the throat, to drain fluid.

As the three small bones vibrate, they amplify the vibrations into the inner ear to arrive at a coiled structure called the cochlea, which is lined with hair cells. Fluid in the cochlea begins to move and the vibrations are picked up by the sensory hair cells. These then send electrical signals via the auditory nerve to the brain, which then interprets them as sound.