How You Hear

Your ears pick up all the sounds around you and then translate this information into a form your brain can understand. Unlike your sense of smell, taste and vision, which involves a chemical reaction, your hearing system is based completely on physical movement.

How Does Hearing Work?

Hearing begins when the outer ear, the visible portion of the ear that is on the outside of the head, channels sound waves down the auditory canal. This tube-like passageway is lined with tiny hairs and small glands that produce ear wax.

The middle ear lies at the end of the auditory canal. It is composed of the eardrum and three small bones, known by the layman as the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. When sound waves hit the eardrum, it vibrates and, in turn, moves the hammer. The hammer moves the anvil, which moves the stirrup, transmitting the vibrations into the inner ear. The middle ear functions to amplify sound, which is why significant hearing loss can result from any disruption in any of the parts.

The inner ear consists of the cochlea and the nerve of hearing. It converts sound waves into nerve impulses that travel to the brain via the movement of tiny hair cells. The brain, in turn, allows us to hear…as long as the message it is receiving is not distorted due to problems in the process just described.

What Are Some Common Hearing Conditions?

There are many reasons who hearing can become disrupted. A few common hearing conditions include:

What Do I Do if I Am Having Hearing Problems?

If you are experiencing problems with your hearing, you need to have your hearing tested. Smoky Mountain Hearing Specialists offers diagnostic and preventative hearing healthcare professional services, such as hearing aid screening, evaluations, hearing aids sales and rehabilitative and preventative counseling. We have two offices located in Morristown and Cleveland, Tennessee. We offer a FREE evaluation on a limited basis. Please call our office at least a week in advance to schedule your appointment.

Call our Morristown location at 423-200-3612, Cleveland at 423-464-7947 or fill out our contact form.

Smoky Mountain Hearing Specialists has helped clients from Morristown, Russellville, White Pine, Talbott, Bean Station, Mooresburg, Whitesburg, Newport, Mohawk, Rutledge, Jefferson City, Bybee, Bulls Gap, Dandridge, Thorn Hill, Midway, Cleveland, Charleston, Georgetown, McDonald, Calhoun, and Ooltewah. We look forward to working with you, too!

Want to learn more?

Click here to learn about hearing loss.
Click here to take our Adult Hearing Health Quiz.
Click here to learn what happens during a hearing test appointment.


When I first started having problems with my hearing I didn’t know where to turn for help. A friend recommended that I try Smoky Mountain Hearing Specialists and I couldn’t have made a better choice. They took their time with me and explained everything to me. Now I can hear my grandkids!
hearing care professional and patient

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