Hearing Pic 1

The ear is an amazing and complex organ.  It is only when something happens to our hearing or someone close to us, that we really appreciate the wonder of hearing.

How we hear

Sound travels in waves and is picked up by the outer ear . It travels along the ear canal to the eardrum (tympanic membrane). The eardrum vibrates and causes the tiny bones (malleus,incus,stapes) in the middle ear to vibrate.

The vibrations move through the fluid in the cochlea in the inner ear and stimulate thousands of tiny hair cells. The vibrations are changed into electrical impulses that are finally perceived by the brain as sound.


Causes of hearing problems:

Hearing problems could be caused by:

  • simply wax blocking the ear canal.
  • the result of chronic ear infections
  • an injury to the head or ear
  • genetic factors
  • ongoing exposure to loud noise
  • medication that damages the ear
  • wear and tear

A hearing loss that is caused by a problem with the eardrum or ossicles (little bones) is called a conductive hearing loss. Surgery may be an option.

A hearing loss that is caused by a problem in the cochlea or hearing nerve is called a sensorineural or nerve deafness. This is a permanent hearing loss.

We can assess your hearing , diagnose the type of hearing loss and refer you to an Ear Specialist if indicated.


Suite 1601
Chris Barnard Hospital
23 DF Malan St.
Cape Town

Suite 2023
First Floor North Wing Medical Suites
Vincent Pallotti Hospital
Alexandra Rd

Shop 14
Ground Floor
Riverside Centre
Main Rd

Appointments: 021 423 4265