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Doctor of audiology / board certified audiologist

How we hear

How We Hear
how we hear
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As the video shows (above, right), sound vibrations move through the air like waves moving across the water. Hearing begins when the vibrations reach the outer ear (left figure 1), which acts to funnel the vibrations through the ear canal (2) toward the eardrum (3). Sound vibrations then interact with the eardrum, before transferring to a series of three tiny bones in the middle ear (4). These bones further amplify the vibrations of the eardrum, then transfer them to a sensory organ in the inner ear, the cochlea (5). Tiny sensory hair cells lining the cochlea (6) are responsible for transforming the sound waves into electrical signals that are interpreted in the cerebral cortex of the brain (watch the video above, right).

Good hearing is essential for
thinking and memory

Importance Of The Cochlea 

The cochlea changes sound waves into nerve impulses, which are then transferred to the auditory cortex (part of the temporal lobe) of the brain via the auditory nerve, for processing. Processing includes decoding the frequency distribution of the information contained in the neural impulses for meaning and spatial recognition (where is the sound located, and what does it mean).

In the figure below, the cochlea (A & B)  is filled with fluid, and lined with tens of thousands of tiny hair cells (C & D). The figures (A-E) show increasingly enlarged electron microscope images of the cochlea and hair cells. Figure A shows a sound wave’s journey to the cochlea.

how we hear

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State of the Art Technology
I am 71 years old and never had a hearing test. Dr Li is so caring and professional. I must admit I learned so much from the audiology evaluation. Technology is outstanding! Dr Li shared the visual results and explained in depth. We take care of our teeth and eyes but now I have great appreciation for hearing. ... C. K. Bend OR
Very Knowledgeable
Dr. Benner is super sharp and knowledgeable of all things hearing aids. I highly recommend using her. ... M. O. Bend OR
Knowledgeable, Experienced, Trustworthy
Two of the most important things to look for in a hearing professional are competence and trustworthiness and Pacific Northwest Audiology scores well on both. I have been with them since 2015 and have achieved fantastic results. None of a hearing aid's bells and whistles will matter if they aren't programmed properly for your ears. PNW Audiology's level of service makes a big difference.... A. M. Bend OR

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© 2018 Pacific Northwest Audiology LLC

Pacific Northwest Audiology, 

2205 NW Shevlin Park Rd., Bend Oregon 97703  

(541) 678-5698,

Doctors of Audiology  |  Board Certified Audiologists