Our ears play a larger role than we might think in helping us sense the world around us. We all know that we use our ears to hear, but they also help us keep balance, know up from down, and know the location of sounds. This last point is something we often don’t think about when it comes to hearing, but we experience it every day! Below is more about the unique skill of sound localization and how it relates to hearing loss.
Our brains and ears work in tandem to help us process sounds in a three-dimensional world. One fact about sound that we might not often think about is that it travels. Because it travels in sound waves, it hits our two ears at different times, depending on the direction it is coming from. Sound waves also have different strengths that fade as they travel, so the sound will be louder to first ear it hits compared to the second. Our brains synthesize the sounds gained from either ear to produce one, whole sound. At the same time, they take the nuances gathered from either ear to indicate where the noise is located. The brain and ears are amazing!
Sound Localization & Hearing Loss
Hearing loss relates to sound localization in at least two different ways. One way is through spatial hearing loss, in which one loses the ability to detect the location of sounds. This kind of hearing loss is most common in children and people over 60 years old. Spatial hearing loss can happen due to many causes, including medication, nerve damage, and natural aging. Hearing aids can help, but it is best to talk with an audiologist for the best treatment.
Another way hearing loss relates is through hearing loss that occurs more in one ear than another. The hearing loss could be gradual or sudden, and have many different possible causes. Specialized hearing aids can help you regain your ability to hear all sounds clearly.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.