WHY WE HAVE EARS AND HOW THEY WORK
THE OUTER EAR
The main function of the ear is to receive sounds waves and send them to the brain to turn them into something we can understand. The outer ear includes the curved flap of the ear leading down to the earlobe and the ear canal, which begins at the opening to the ear and extends to the eardrum. It is made up of the Pina and Auricle located on the outside which as you know, comes in many sizes and is made up of cartilage and skin. Its main job is to gather sounds – like a bullhorn or the hole of a guitar, but instead of sending the sound outward, it gathers it and sends it inward through our Ear Canal to begin the hearing process.
THE INSIDE OF THE EAR!
Once there, the sound is picked up by the ear drum, which is the most fragile area in the ear. The inner ear is filled with fluid and has the hearing organ called the Cochlea. This organ helps to take the vibrations and translate them into electrical signals for the nerve to send to the brain. It actually uses little hairs that vibrate with the sound waves in the fluid. Then you “hear” it. Amazing! Once inside the mighty ear, we have the middle ear which is comprised of the Anvil, Hammer and the Stirrup. These three components in the ear magnify the sound and make it louder. Think of a band where you have a singer, drummer and guitar player working together to create amazing music. They work side by side in harmony – how amazing is that?
WHY DO WE NEED TWO OF THEM?
Having two ears help us determine where sound is coming from. Imagine sitting between two people and being able to hear the person on left side but not on the right. You’d probably spend the entire conversation saying “What?” over and over again to just one of those people. It’s good to know that hearing loss can be prevented. The best way to prevent injury is to be very careful of the volume on your ear pods. A good rule of thumb would be is if you’re listening to music through your ear pods and the person beside you starts singing along – it’s time to turn that volume down! Human beings can hear sound at a frequency range of around 20 Hz on the low end and 20,000 Hz on the high end. Dolphins, for example, can’t hear sounds as low as we can, but can hear high sounds of over 100,000 Hz. Dogs and cats can hear much higher pitched sounds than we can. How do we keep our ears healthy? Wash with soap and water and do not use Q Tips or any other device in your ears. It’s also important to eat healthy foods like spinach, broccoli, asparagus and potassium rich foods like potatoes, raisins, apricots, bananas, melons, oranges and yogurt.