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the sense by which sounds are perceived, or the capacity to perceive sound; sound waves are converted into nerve impulses for interpretation by the brain. The organ of hearing is the ear, which is divided into the outer, middle, and inner ear, each with its own role. Connecting the middle ear with the nasopharynx is the eustachian tube, through which air enters to equalize the pressure on both sides of the tympanic membrane (eardrum). Called also audition.
As sound is conducted from the external ear to the inner ear, the sound waves undergo considerable transformation. The tympanic membrane (eardrum), ossicles, and cochlea act as a mechanical transformer to concentrate the sound waves so that they can be picked up by nerve endings in the inner ear and transmitted to the brain.
hearing aid an instrument to amplify sounds for those with hearing loss. There are two types of electronic hearing aids: the air-conduction type, which is worn in the external acoustic meatus, and the bone-conduction type, which is worn in back of the ear over the mastoid process.

Those who have conductive hearing loss can often use any one of the better aids with good results. Patients with otosclerosis will probably need the bone-conduction type of instrument. Those with sensorineural hearing loss (caused by injury to the vestibulocochlear nerve), or a mixed type, may have more trouble selecting a suitable hearing aid and may get less satisfactory results.

Those wearing a hearing aid for the first time should have special training in its proper use. A hearing aid picks up and amplifies all sounds in the vicinity. Often a person whose hearing has declined gradually will have lost the facility to ignore background noises. When one first tries a hearing aid, one's ears will be assaulted by the sounds of passing cars, of doors slamming, of telephones ringing. Training in how to filter out these noises and concentrate on the essential is necessary if the person is to get good results from the hearing aid. For best results, this should be combined with lessons in lipreading.

A cochlear implant can help profoundly deaf persons recognize and interpret various sounds. It does not restore hearing but can improve the quality of life for the deaf.
Hearing aids. From Lammon et al., 1995.
hearing (omaha) in the omaha system, a client problem in the physiologic domain.


The ability to perceive sound; the sensation of sound as opposed to vibration.
Synonym(s): audition


/hear·ing/ (hēr´ing)
1. the sense by which sounds are perceived.
2. audition; the capacity to perceive sound.

color hearing  a form of chromesthesia in which sounds cause sensations of color.


Etymology: AS, hieran
the sense that enables sound to be perceived. It is a major function of the ear. Any reduction in the ability to perceive sounds results in hearing loss, which can range from mild impairment to complete deafness.


Audiology A series of events in which sound waves in air are converted to electrical signals that are sent as nerve impulses to the brain where they are interpreted


The ability to perceive sound; the sensation of sound as opposed to vibration.
Synonym(s): audition.


Enlarge picture
The sense or perception of sound. The normal human ear can detect sounds with frequencies ranging from about 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz but is most sensitive to sounds in the 1500-Hz to 3000-Hz frequency range, which is the range most often used in speech. Hearing deficits occur when sound waves are not conducted properly to the cochlea, when lesions interrupt the workings of the cochlear nerve, or when central nervous system pathways involved in the processing of auditory stimuli are injured. See: illustration

Function Tests

Hearing acuity can be determined by measuring the distance at which a person can hear a certain sound such as a water tick, by using audiometers, and by bone conduction. In audiometers, electrically produced sounds are conveyed by wires to a receiver applied to the subject's ear. Intensity and pitch of sound can be altered and are indicated on the dials. Results are plotted on a graph known as an audiogram. In bone conduction tests, a device such as a tuning fork or an apparatus that converts an electric current into mechanical vibrations is applied to the skull. This is of value in distinguishing between perceptive and conductive deafness. Conductive hearing loss may be diagnosed with the Weber test. Having the patient hum produces no difference in the sound heard if hearing is normal. The sound is perceived as louder in the ear with conductive hearing loss.

residual hearing

Hearing acuity that remains after hearing loss.


The ability to perceive sound; sensation of sound not vibration.


the sense by which sounds are perceived, by conversion of sound waves into nerves impulses, which are then interpreted by the brain. Also, the capacity to perceive sound. The organ of hearing is the ear, which is divided into three sections, the outer, middle and inner ear. Each plays a special role in hearing. Connecting the middle ear with the nasopharynx is the pharyngotympanic canal, through which air enters to equalize the pressure on both sides of the tympanic membrane (eardrum).

hearing aid
an instrument to amplify sounds for the hard of hearing. These have been fitted to dogs, but are not normally offered in veterinary practice.
hearing tests
are difficult to administer and interpret in any other than laboratory-trained animals or without specialized electronic equipment such as an impedance audiometer or electroencephalograph with which auditory cortical evoked responses can be measured.
hearing dog
a dog trained to respond to sounds such as a telephone ring or door bell; used to assist hearing impaired humans.

Patient discussion about hearing

Q. I would like to hear from you. I'm searching help for my son, who is suffering from Autism. I was wondering if any of the parents of children with Autism have noticed any changes when they change their children eating habits. If so, have you noticed any significance in the improvement of your child's behavior? I would like to hear from you.

A. I have a sweet little daughter who has autism. When I diagnosed her with autism, I put her on diet and trust me that I have noticed a significant change. I suggest you to give her home brand of safe food that will help more.

Q. How do I make him listen? Hi, My kid is so irrespective and just we have diagnosed him with ADHD. He is just seven years old and makes fun of his friends. It seems that they do not like him. Also if he does not like anyone, he seems to be uncontrollable. He never listens to me. How do I make him listen? I am getting stressed due to this.

A. Yes he needs control, but within your parameters. For instance you offer two of meal choices, ask him which one he would like. Both are nutritious and within your financial and time budget,(By the way a very nutitious varied diet is good avoiding junk food, artificial ingredients etc). Use the same principal with other things. He needs a structured environment, a regular routine and he needs to know what to expect. Its a good thing to have a family conference on a daily basis, if needed one in the morning to dicuss the days agenda and one at night to dicuss concerns and the ne next day. these need only be a few minutes. If the plans change he needs to know why. This involves alot of talking and input on your part. He also needs to learn cause and affect, or what his choice of what to do, or not to do; will effect what the out come will be. Whenever a request is made, the reason for it must be given in a calm manner. Always praise positive behavior, not that silly "good job",

Q. what is this immediate hearing loss???? I woke up yesterday and didnt hear anything, only very high tones in my left ear. I also feel nausious and dizzy. please tell me someone has experienced it and it goes away in a few days!!! I'm very scared to loose my hearing forever, it's been 24 hours that I'm almost deaf. thank you

A. Acute hearing loss can be caused due to an infection of the middle ear or internal ear that can cause dizziness nausea fever and vomiting as well. You should see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

More discussions about hearing
References in periodicals archive ?
Just because something happens in a public place doesn't mean it's a public hearing,'' she said.
Diamond also denied the hearing was closed to the public because of preferential treatment of a city employee -- in this case Kovacevich, who filed the complaint.
Form 12153, request for a Due Process Hearing, should be included with the notice the taxpayer uses to request a hearing.
Importantly, when a potential exists for multiple CDP notice filings for the same tax liability, taxpayers must request a hearing in response to the first notice.
Rules of Practice for Hearings, this authority has been delegated to Board Enforcement Counsel, who has the discretion to determine which documents, if any, should be filed under seal.
In a Notice of Intent to Prohibit and Notice of Charges and of Hearing (the "Notice") issued December 16, 1998, the Board alleged that Hank Rhon used nominees to secretly acquire additional LNB stock without Board approval, that he transferred significant equity interests in Incus to his father and two business associates in violation of commitments and representations made to the Board, and that he caused Laredo National Bank, LNB's principal subsidiary, to engage in lending and other transactions with affiliates that violated commitments made to the Board.
Over a decade before Himber's personal account, Blood, Blood, and Danhauer (1977) reported that the mere presence of a hearing aid prompted raters to evaluate individuals more negatively on the dimensions of intelligence, achievement, personality, and appearance.
Some, like Gibbons, seem genuinely shocked that Republicans are overtly using hearings to promote their own ideology and undermine the huge entitlements and programs that make up the status superstructure Democrats have built.
In the past, there have been many properties that are scheduled for summer hearings, but each year it appears that the hearings go on further into the year.
The problem was that people weren't showing up for their hearings if they didn't have to pay the fine beforehand," he said.
Certiorari attorneys reported a "chilling" effect at the Tax Commission hearings during March and April due to the two reports as well as from critical New York Newsday articles, and complained of not receiving warranted reductions of their client's tentative property assessments.