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Binaural hearing: the anatomy behind it

Binaural hearing: the anatomy behind it The ears are designed to pick up sounds and transmit them through waves into the brain, but do you ever wonder why we have two instead of one?  2013 427 Binaural hearing: the anatomy behind it

Do you ever wondered why we have two ears instead of one? The body is a finely tuned "machine," and our ears are designed to pick up sound waves from our surroundings. If you've ever had hearing loss in one ear, you know that it can be challenging to decipher noise, or understand where it came from. Individuals with hearing aids may also notice a difference if they are only wearing one device. Here are just a few reasons why hearing out of two ears is better than one:

how we ear, binaural hearing, hearing loss, noise-induced hearing lossDirection of sound

Your ears transmit sound waves to the brain, and having an ear on each side of the head makes it easier for us to determine where the sound is coming from. Sometimes referred to as localization, having two ears allows you to understand where someone is if he is talking to you in a social setting, where construction is, or who is honking his horn.

Wider range

With two ears, you are able to hear sounds clearly from both directions. You may be able to hear up to four times better with two ears than you would with one. Just for starters, hearing properly from only one side of the body limits the amount of sound that you could hear clearly from the other side. This limits the range from which you can understand and comprehend noises.

When you are in a social situation, two ears make it easier to hear sounds. If you have to struggle to hear people talking around you, chances are you will not be very relaxed in these environments. Having two ears compared with one increases the range which you are able to hear from 180 to 360 degrees. 

Better sound quality

Have you ever noticed when only one of your stereo speakers emits sound? The quality isn't nearly as loud or clear. This concept applies to your ears as well. With two ears, sound is more balanced and it may even sound more natural. Monaural hearing, one ear, creates an unusual feeling because the brain is not stimulated equally.

A bit of cushion

Two ears offer a bit of cushion because the sounds are divided between two ears, and this makes it possible to tolerate louder noises. Having binaural hearing helps sudden, loud sounds lose the jarring effects when divided. 

The ability to clearly hear out of two ears is important for day-to-day functions and peace of mind. In the event you're experiencing difficulty hearing clearly, visit a hearing healthcare professional in your area to address your concerns!

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