When sounds waves reach the ear, they are translated into nerve impulses. These impulses then travel to the brain where they are interpreted by the brain as sound. The hearing mechanisms within the inner ear, can be easily damaged by excessively loud noise causing sensory hearing loss.
Review Date: 8/30/2012 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.