Fun Facts about Hearing
Hearing Health & Technology Matters
April 22, 2014

The American Academy of Audiology and Hearing Loss Association of America have put together in separate documents some interesting facts about hearing loss. Beth Benites, AuD, compiled a list to bring some of these facts to our attention. They can be used for all ages!

  1. Sitting close to loudspeakers at concerts (which can reach about 120 decibels) can damage your hearing in just 7.5 minutes!
  2. At the age of 65, one in three adults has some hearing loss; however, a majority of the people who suffer from hearing loss are under age 65.
  3. Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States.
  4. Excessive noise exposure is the #1 cause of hearing loss.
  5. The bones in the middle ear (malleus, incus, and stapes) are the body’s smallest bones. All three can fit together on the surface area of a penny.
  6. 37% of children with hearing loss fail at least one grade.
  7. The outer ear never stops growing throughout one’s lifetime.
  8. The middle ear is about the size of an M&M.
  9. The inner ear is no larger than a pencil eraser in circumference.
  10. Not all living creatures hear with ears. Snakes use jawbones, fish respond to pressure changes, and male mosquitoes use antennae.
  11. The eardrum moves less than a billionth of an inch in response to sound.
  12. In World War I parrots were kept on the Eiffel Tower in Paris because of their remarkable sense of hearing. When the parrots heard enemy aircraft,  they warned everyone of the approaching danger long before any human ear would hear it.
  13. Sometimes if you have damage to your ears, your perception of taste may be off because the nerves (called the Chorda Tympani) run through the ear and connect the taste buds on the front of your tongue to your brain. Sometimes people who have had ear surgery experience a change in their sense of taste. It does not mean that hearing loss directly correlates to an inability to taste.
  14. Ear infections are more common in children because of their developing immune systems and differences between their Eustachian tubes (at more of a horizontal angle) than those of adults.
  15. Earwax has been useful to anthropologists for studying mankind’s early migratory patterns.


featured image courtesy of PEZ

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