5 strange but wonderful hearing facts

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The human body is an incredible thing and our five senses are something we shouldn’t take for granted. Hearing, for example, is a beautiful sensation. You can enjoy music, speak to people easily and bask in the sounds of nature and birdsong – just to name a few.

One in 1,000 babies are born completely deaf, and the rest can hear sounds as low as 20 Hertz and as high as 20,000 after birth. Our ears and sense of hearing are incredible, so it is important that we keep on top of our hearing health.  Specialists such as Hidden Hearing can help if you feel that hearing loss is occurring.

To help get your head around just how incredible your hearing is, we’ve come up with some fun facts for you to share with your friends…

5. The whole area of the middle ear is no bigger than a pea

It is amazing to think that something so small allows us to enjoy the notes of a classical composer’s melody, the soothing sounds of the sea ebbing and flowing onto sand or the noise of crickets chirping on a hazy summer evening.

A competition found that the noise of frogs at dusk, sat around a pond in Malaysia, could be the most beautiful sound in the world. But of course, opinions will differ for every person.

4. Ears are necessary for balancehearing-balance

Incredibly your ears help you stand up straight! When you move there are sensors in your inner ear, which tell you where your head is,      so if you have an ear infection or even if you have blocked ears you can feel dizzy as these sensors are disrupted.

Remember, ears are self-cleaning so there is no need to poke at them with a cotton bud, which is one the most common causes of ear infections and even hearing loss.

3. Animals are quite incredible at hearing

Our furry (and not so furry) friends have always beaten us when it comes to hearing, however they use completely different methods of taking in sound to us. Fish, for example, do not have ears but hear pressure changes in the water through ridges in their body and male mosquitoes hear with thousands of tiny hairs on their antennae.

Weirdly, a cricket’s hearing organ is in its knees while Cicadas house their hearing organs in their stomach. Dogs can of course pick up on much higher sounds than we can and hear things far away that we would struggle to notice.

baby-crying2. A baby’s cry is louder than a car horn

If you have ever sat on public transport and cringed every time a little baby has cried, don’t worry; there is a reason why the sound seems so painfully loud. The cry of a tiny infant can reach a giant 115 decibels. This is nearly as loud as the noise at a rock concert, which can reach 120 decibels.

1. The Mabaan tribe’s elders have the same hearing capability of a much younger person

An ear specialist studied an African tribe in the 1960s and found that its 70-80 year old members had the same hearing capability of 20-30 year old individuals from Western society. But why was their hearing still so good at that age? Most hearing loss occurs in Western society from around the age of 65, possibly even younger now we are exposed to loud noises on our iPods and smartphones.

It is believed that their hearing is so exceptional because the tribe owns no drums or guns, eats a very low fat diet, which keeps the ear’s cochlea nourished, and that they also hear very little noise on a day to day basis.

So it is important to remember, next time you turn your iPod’s volume all the way up, whilst wearing headphones, the strain you are putting your very important ears under. Try to take good care of your hearing in order to enjoy all the sounds and senses yet to come!

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