Learn how to give your sensory wonders the protection they deserve.
15,000+: The number of tiny hairs, found deep inside your ears, that help you hear.
85+: Volume of noise in decibels that can cause hearing damage over time. (Kitchen blenders clock in at about that level.)
19: The percentage of adults ages 40 to 69 who have trouble hearing without a hearing aid.
How Your Ears Work
1. Sound waves are collected by the pinna (the outside, visible part of the ear) and guided down the ear canal to the eardrum, making it vibrate.
2. Vibrations from the eardrum move through three tiny middle-ear bones — the hammer, anvil, and stirrup — collectively known as the ossicles.
3. These sound vibrations cause fluids to move in the cochlea, a snail-shaped bony structure deep in the inner ear.
4. In turn, tiny hair cells in the cochlea are stimulated, sending electric signals through the auditory nerve to the brain, which immediately detects the difference between a cellphone ring and a symphony.