Chances are that you know a few things about your ears and hearing that already appear on this list but did you know about all of them?
- You get a new ear canal every year! The ear canal skin is constantly growing outward at a rate of 1.3 inches every year. If it didn’t fall off, you’d have a two-foot string hanging out of your ear by the time you were 20!
- Your middle ear (which connects your ear canal to your inner ear) is about the size of a pea.
- The ear’s three middle ear bones, malleus, incus, and stapes (otherwise known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup) are the smallest bones in the human body. All three together could fit together on a penny.
- The smallest muscle in the body is the stapedius, located in the middle ear. It is only 1/20th of an inch long and controls the smallest bone in the body, the stapes or stirrup bone.
- Your ears never stop working. When you’re sleeping, your brain doesn’t process sound the same way. Your ears continue to hear sounds but your brain shuts them out, which is why you don’t remember what someone may have said to you while you’re resting.
Hearing Loss Causes
- Excessive noise is the number one reason for hearing loss.
- If you cannot carry on a conversation in the presence of noise, it is too loud for your ears and can potentially cause hearing loss.
- 1 in 4 workers exposed to high levels of noise will develop a hearing loss.
- Professions at risk of hearing loss include firefighters, police officers, factory workers, farmers, construction workers, military personnel, heavy industry workers, musicians, and entertainment industry professionals.
Hearing Loss Solutions
- The vast majority of Americans (95%) with hearing loss have their hearing loss treated with hearing aids. Only 5% of hearing loss in adults can be improved through medical or surgical treatment.
- Most public places (i.e. movie, place of worship, government building, schools) are required under the American with Disabilities Act to provide assistive listening devices for the hard-of-hearing.
- Nearly 90% of hearing aids are digital.
- 9 out of 10 hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life.
- One of the best ways to get a loved one to seek help for their hearing loss is to stop being their hearing helper!
- Only 13% of physicians screen for hearing loss. Ask your doctor for a hearing screening since it is not a routine part of physical exams.