Loud noise is harmful to the cochlea (the inner ear), and exposure to loud noise over a period of time can hurt your cochlea.
Are you tired of saying 'what?' over and over again because you can't clearly hear someone? Earwax may be affecting your hearing!
According to WebMD, blocked earwax is one of the most common causes of conductive hearing loss. Earwax impaction happens if the wax is pushed back toward the eardrum or if the ears produce more earwax than needed. This build-up of wax in the outer ear may stop sound from reaching the eardrum.
'How' you ask? Let's start with a definition...
- Conductive hearing loss: Occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves anywhere along the route through the outer ear, tympanic membrane (eardrum) or middle ear (ossicles)
This type of hearing loss may occur in conjunction with sensorineural hearing loss (mixed hearing loss), or alone.
How Do We Hear?
According to Patient.info, sound waves are created when air vibrates. To hear, the ear must change sound into electrical signals which the brain can interpret.
Follow our Thinglink diagram below to see how sound travels in the ear!
A. The Pinna
The outer part of the ear (pinna) funnels sound waves into your ear canal.
B. The Eardrum
When these sound waves reach the eardrum, they make it vibrate. (Acting like an actual drum!) These vibrations make the tiny bones in the middle ear move too.
C. The Stapes
The last of these tiny bones (stapes) passes on the vibrations to the fluid-filled chamber called the cochlea.
D. The Cochlea
When the sound vibrations reach the cochlea, the fluid inside it moves. As this fluid moves, it vibrates the hairs on the cells that line the cochlea. Each cell is stimulated by a particular note (or frequency) of sound. The vibration of the hair cells is turned into an electrical signal by the organ of Corti, at their base.
E. The Auditory Nerve
The Corti then sends signals down the hearing (auditory) nerve to the brain and special areas in your brain receive these signals and translate them into what you know as sound!
How Does Earwax Affect Your Hearing?
Blocked or impacted earwax disrupts the ear's ability to let sound travel to the eardrum to vibrate and receive sound.
Symptoms of impacted earwax include an earache, a feeling of fullness in the ear, a sensation that the ear is plugged, and ringing (tinnitus) in the ear. Other symptoms include itching, a strange odor, or discharge from the ear.
If you or a loved one are experiencing conductive hearing loss because of blocked earwax, don't worry Eosera is here to help! Be sure to visit a doctor first and then try our product Earwax MD® to safely remove your unwanted earwax so you can finally hear clearly again!