Hearing loss can begin early in life, but seems to worsen with age, Good lifetime nutrition may help prevent age related hearing loss.
You may think of the ear as the organ that is primarily responsible for hearing but, in fact, the ear has two important jobs in the body. Of course, it is the instrument which transmits sound, but it is also the organ that is responsible for helping us to maintain our balance.
The human ear consist of three parts: the outer, middle, and inner portions. The outer ear is the part we can see, the middle ear is an air filled chamber containing the eardrum, which serves to receive and amplify sound waves, and the inner ear contains the sensory receptors for hearing, which are enclosed in a fluid filled chamber called the cochlea. It is the inner ear in which sound waves in the air are converted to nerve impulses that are relayed to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
The innermost part of the ear maintains the body’s balance. When we change the position of our head or body, the inner ear transmits nerve impulses to the brain, which help to restore our equilibrium.
Diseases of the ear include infection, tinnitus and various type of deafness.
Age related decline in hearing can begin at around age twenty, when there is a gradual loss in high frequency hearing. However, the loss is usually so minimal that is hardly noticeable, it usually isn’t until around age sixty that hearing loss becomes apparent. That is when there may be a loss of middle and low frequency sounds, making it more difficult to understand speech.
Hearing loss can be exacerbated by chronic exposure to loud noises, which can cause damage to the nerves. Atherosclerosis can also cause hearing loss by preventing the flow of dlood and nutrients to the ear, which can also damage the delicate inner ear apparatus.
Clearly, two primary ways to prevent hearing loss are to avoid excess exposure to loud noise, and to prevent cardiovascular disease.