Facts about Hearing

Why the way you hear is fascinating

Think about it. All of the components of this intricately designed process must work at peak function to carry waves in the air around you to your brain, where they are understood as distinct sounds. Hearing allows you to communicate, learn, experience, and enjoy the world around you.

The following are ten fun facts about hearing:

  1. The smallest bones are the ossicles in the middle ear: the incus, the malleus, and the stapes (also called the anvil, hammer, and stirrup).

  2. The inner ear is no larger than a pencil eraser in circumference.

  3. Your sense of hearing is dependent upon tiny hairs deep inside your ear. If you lose these hairs, you lose your hearing.

  4. You do not need to clean wax out of your ears unless you have an abnormal condition. Ears push excess wax out as needed.

  5. The majority of individuals suffering from hearing loss are under the age of 65.

  6. The number one cause of hearing loss is exposure to excessively loud sounds (85 decibels or higher).

  7. Your hearing can be damaged permanently even after a single incident of exposure to extremely loud noise (shotgun blast, explosion, etc.).

  8. Your ears never stop hearing, even when you sleep. Your brain just ignores incoming sounds.

  9. Your ears are more than just necessary for hearing; they also help you keep your balance.

  10. Not all living creatures hear with ears. Snakes use jawbones, fish respond to pressure changes, and male mosquitoes use antennae.