Facts about Hearing

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  • Age-related hearing changes along the auditory pathways usually start from your 40’s onwards – often with mild difficulty hearing when background noise is present, or mishearing people and needing to concentrate a little harder.


  • Our ears are the starting point for an amazingly complex, beautifully orchestrated system of processes that allow us to listen. Our hearing organs (cochleas) turn sounds into impulses and the nerves carry these impulses up through to the brain. Along the way, there is a series of processes which differentiate, filter, sort and make sense of the impulses, and in the end allow the brain to understand that the set of impulses represents a word or noise. Our brains rely on both ears to send in balanced stimulation for these processes to work effectively.


  • Often, what is labelled “selective hearing” is a breakdown in the listening process because of reduced hearing stimulation. The brain then struggles to use compensation techniques – not because of poor attention or “being difficult”, but because not enough sound is getting through.