Do you hear better in the morning? Do you feel that your ability to hear changes throughout the day? Perhaps you find that your hearing seems particularly more attuned to the world around you at particular times of the day.
Approximately 33% of American adults aged 65-74 and almost 50% of those aged 75+ have hearing loss. If you are one of the many with a hearing impairment, you’re probably already very aware of how your hearing has changed. Some sounds may be more difficult to hear. In some cases, you may have greater sensitivity to other sounds.
Additionally, you’ve probably noticed that your ability to hear changes depending on a number of things. The environment you’re in. How many people are speaking at once. The level of background noise. But what about the time of day?
Do You Hear Better In The Morning?
No clear research indicates that our ability to hear is somehow better in the morning. However, that’s looking at it in a very linear fashion. Scientifically speaking, your “hearing” hasn’t changed.
However, your hearing relies on more than just your ears. First, let’s take a closer look at how your ears actually work.
How Do Your Ears Work?
Your hearing system is extremely complex. However, it can be divided into two parts: the peripheral hearing system and the central hearing system.
The peripheral hearing system includes the three major parts that make up your ear:
- Outer Ear – This is where sound waves are initially captured. It is made up of the pinna (also referred to as the auricle), ear canal and eardrum.
- Middle Ear – Your middle ear is a small space filled with air. It contains three tiny bones: the malleus, incus and stapes. Together, these bones are known as the ossicles.
- Inner Ear – Your inner ear contains organs designed for hearing and balance. The part of the inner ear responsible for hearing is your cochlea. The cochlea has a distinctive snail-like shape, and contains thousands of hair cells. Your cochlea connects to your central hearing system by the auditory nerve. It is also filled with fluid that play an important role in your hearing.
The central hearing system includes the auditory nerve. It includes a complex pathway through to your brain stem, and then on to the auditory cortex of your brain.
How Do You Hear?
Sounds are invisible vibrations that travel through the air. Think of the sounds you can hear at the moment; maybe it’s music in the background, or the wind in the trees outside, or even traffic in the streets. Each sound creates a sound wave that sends vibrations in all directions. Most sound waves are unique, which is why people, animals and things will sound different.
When sound waves hit your ear, the pinna on either side of your head funnels the sounds into your ear canals. The unique sound waves will cause your eardrum to vibrate. These vibrations then move the ossicles in your middle ear. This movement helps to transmit the sound vibrations into the cochlea of your inner ear.
These soundwaves are then converted into electrical pulses that travel along the auditory nerve into your brain. It is at this point that the pulses are converted into ‘sound’ that we can understand. This entire process takes fractions of a second!
Hearing Throughout the Day
Now that you have a better understanding of how your ears work, and how we ‘hear’, we can more closely examine whether you hear better in the morning.
Consider that a significant amount of how we hear relies on our brains. In the morning, when we first wake up, our brains are rested and refreshed. They haven’t been burdened after a day of processing millions of pieces of information.
Put simply, you may feel that you can hear better in the morning because your brain is more capable of processing the sounds around you!
Get Your Hearing Checked! Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you suspect that your ability to hear may have changed, please don’t delay speaking to a professional. Get in touch with the hearing healthcare specialists at Regional Hearing & Balance Center today. Please call us on 208-497-3596, or click here to request an appointment online.