Our Locations
The Hearing Clinic
The Hearing Clinic is a family-owned, private audiology practice. We provide a friendly, patient-focused approach in a warm atmosphere with a simple goal: individualized solutions for individual people.
Cherry Creek
90 Madison St #201 Denver, CO 80206
Phone: (303) 322-0054
Wheat Ridge
Formerly Mountain Peak Hearing Associates
4045 Wadsworth Blvd #110 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Phone: (303) 425-3344
Golden
Formerly Mountain Peak Hearing Associates
1030 Johnson Road, Suite 350 Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 502-5129
CONTACT US
How We Hear - The Hearing Clinic
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How We Hear

Before we can begin to understand how hearing loss happens and what a diagnosis of a specific type of hearing loss might mean, it is important to have a basic understanding of how hearing works. To the right is a picture of the auditory, or hearing, system, which we generally break into three parts: The outer, middle, and inner ears. The outer ear describes everything from the ear outside the head to the eardrum, the middle ear describes the space and structures from the eardrum to the cochlea (the snail shell structure inside the skull), and the inner ear describes the cochlea with all the structures inside it and the hearing nerve that carries sound to the brain. Each of these three parts of the auditory system are described below, along with how they contribute to hearing and some issues that can arise to cause hearing loss.

How We Hear

The Outer Ear

Sound first enters the outer ear at the pinna – the portion of our ear visible on the outside of our head. The pinna collects sound waves and funnels them down the ear canal to the eardrum. Together the pinna and ear canal are referred to as the outer ear.

The Middle Ear

The Middle EarThe middle ear begins at the tympanic membrane or eardrum. When sound waves from the outer ear strike the tympanic membrane, it vibrates like a drum (hence the term “eardrum”). Behind the eardrum is an air-filled space containing three middle ear bones, the smallest bones in the body. The eardrum vibrations cause the middle ear bones to vibrate. A picture of a healthy eardrum appears to the right, where you can see the first of the middle ear bones, the Incus, attached in the upper right portion.

The Inner Ear

The Inner EarThe cochlea – our hearing and balance organ – together with the auditory (hearing) nerve, are referred to as the inner ear. Sound passes to the inner ear via the vibrations of the middle ear bones, which are connected to the cochlea at one end. Tiny hair cells within the cochlea convert the sound vibrations into an electrical signal which is carried up the hearing nerve to the brain, where sound happens. Several rows of hair cells are pictured to the right. A healthy cochlea contains about 20,000 hair cells which fire about 1,000 times per second.