What are swimming earplugs made of, and can you hear through them?
#49178. Asked by Emerald11. (Jul 08 04 8:04 AM)
hears what i say|
The gradual loss of hearing that occurs as you age (presbycusis) is a common condition. An estimated one-third of Americans older than age 60 and one-half of those older than age 75 have a hearing impairment.
Over time, the wear and tear on your ears from noise contributes to hearing loss by damaging the cochlea, a part of your inner ear. Doctors believe that heredity and chronic exposure to loud noises are the main factors that contribute to hearing loss. Other factors, such as earwax blockage, can prevent your ears from conducting sounds as well as they should.
You can't reverse damage to your inner ear. However, you don't have to live in a world of quieter, less distinct sounds. You and your doctor or hearing specialist (audiologist) can take steps to improve what you hear.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
* Muffled quality of speech and other sounds
* Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd of people
* Asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
* Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
* Withdrawal from conversations
* Avoidance of some social settings
Hearing occurs when sound waves reach the structures inside your ear, and your ear converts the sound wave vibrations into nerve signals that your brain recognizes as sound.
Your ear consists of three major areas: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves pass through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum. The eardrum and three small bones of the middle ear — the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup — amplify the vibrations as they travel to the inner ear. There, the vibrations pass through fluid in the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure in the inner ear. Attached to nerve cells in the cochlea are thousands of tiny hairs that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals that are transmitted to your brain. The vibrations of different sounds affect these tiny hairs in different ways, causing the nerve cells to send different signals to your brain. That's how you distinguish one sound from another.
For some people, hearing loss may result from a gradual buildup of earwax, which blocks the ear canal and prevents conduction of sound waves. Earwax blockage is one of the more common causes of hearing loss among people of all ages.
Most hearing loss results from damage to the cochlea. Tiny hairs in the cochlea may break or become bent, and nerve cells may degenerate. When the nerve cells or the hairs are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren't transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs. Higher pitched tones may become muffled to you. It may become difficult for you to pick out words against background noise.
Ear infection and abnormal bone growths or tumors of the outer or middle ear can cause hearing loss. A ruptured eardrum also may result in loss of hearing.
I have sold many boxes, and the usual type are either rubber or synthetic rubber, unlike the wax ones used for sleeping. I don't think the fact they're watertight means they're totally soundproof though as unlike the wax type they often have spaces between the fins which would still allow some movement of air, but as I've never used them that's just a theory.|
Pen nibs use similar fins inside the barrel to stop the ink from flowing into them too quickly.
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