03 Jun Hear Me Yet, Yanny?
A few weeks ago, I was introduced to the Yanny vs Laurel debacle. If you haven’t heard the well-known auditory mystery can do so here. This sound clip was recorded by an opera singer, Jay Aubrey Jones, best known for his part in the original Broadway show Cats. Jones was asked by Vocabulary.com to record audio clips for the dictionary site, this clip coming from the recording of the word laurel. The recording went viral overnight sparking arguments about what each listener heard. To some the clip is without a doubt saying laurel. To others with the same conviction they hear the word yanny. Many scientists in the field speculate that this drastic sound difference is simply a matter of adjusting the pitch and timing of the recording. Some experts claim that if you hear laurel your ears are older than those who hear yanny.
In light of this debate, I became curious about the particulars of how we hear sounds. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders summarizes hearing as: a series of complex steps that change sound waves into electrical signals carried by the auditory nerve to the brain. Basically, sound is made up of waves which vibrate through the air and eventually makes contact with our ear, more specifically the ear canal. These outside vibrations are shuttled through the ear canal to tiny bones in the middle ear ending up in the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid filled part of the most inner part of the ear. When the vibrations arrive at the cochlea they cause the fluid to dance and stimulate special sensory hair cells. Movement of these cells cause a chemical reaction ultimately leading to an electrical signal. This electrical signal is sent to the brain for interpretation via the auditory nerve highway.
If you were told that you had hair loss you would probably reach for the top of your head, right? You would be wrong in this case! Like I said above, the sensory cells that are responsible for hearing sound waves are also called hair cells. Damaged hair cells are the culprit for many cases of hearing loss! Without the stimulation of the hair cells, the sound vibrations do not make it to the auditory nerve and never reach the brain.
Luckily, there is technology that helps those with damaged hair cells, hearing aids! Tiny amplifiers compensate for the loss of hair cells by converting sound waves to a signal our brain can understand. Hearing aids styles range from behind-the-ear to completely-in-canal. These devices are lifesaving for some people, allowing people with hearing loss to be involved in various activities that are otherwise problematic.
Unfortunately, these devices can also be extremely expensive. On the plus side, we can help you apply for insurance that will cover some of this cost! If you are in need of hearing aids, let us help you get coverage that will reduce the financial burden. This way you can spend your hard-earned money on vacation with your family, instead of deliberating Yanny vs Laurel.