We all know that bigger is not necessarily better. Well, the same holds true for sounds. Louder does not necessarily mean better sound quality. Good quality hearing is vital to keeping the nerves in your ears healthy and able to transmit sound signals through the nerve pathways to your brain so you can better understand and enjoy the world around you.
The ear is a sensitive and incredible transmitter of sound to the brain. Made up of three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear, the ear transforms vibrations in the air into electrical impulses that are, in turn, passed or transmitted to the brain as signals through the neural pathways from the ear. Damage to any of the parts of the ear can result in hearing impairment and/or hearing loss.
When we feel the uncomfortable sensation of cold we take the necessary measures to protect our outer ears with earmuffs, hats, and scarves in the winter to prevent frostbite. It is just as important to remember to protect our inner ears as well to prevent nerve damage that can cause permanent hearing loss.
Have you ever seen a dog whine, put his head down, and cover his ears with his paws when there is a loud, high-pitched noise? A small child will do virtually the same thing when exposed to a loud noise. The child automatically covers his ears with his hands. These are natural self-defense mechanisms kicking in. They are protecting their ears from a situation that is potentially damaging.
As we get older, we may have a stubborn tendency to overrule some of our natural instincts. But that does not negate the importance of them. We sometimes need to relearn the basics of self-preservation. Remembering that overly loud noises trigger the impulse to muffle or block out the sound is a clear signal that you need to “cover your ears”.
Hearing protection is not limited just to the sound muffling headsets like the kind you see at a firing range. There are a variety of ways to protect your ears. Available are ear plugs for swimmers, industrial ear plugs for safety in the workplace, specialized musician’s ear plugs, and ear plugs made especially for children, just to name a few. Whatever the situation may be that involves loud sounds or other possible events that may cause trauma to the inner ear and its nerves, there are protection devices developed specifically for that instance.
All five of your senses are very important for you to function properly: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing. Protecting your ears and your hearing ensures that you keep this important sense healthy and intact. Contact a health professional dealing in hearing to choose the proper hearing protection needed.