The mechanical process of hearing is carried out by the ear itself, which has three sections, the outer, middle, and inner ears.
The outer ear, consisting of the lobe and ear canal, protects the more fragile parts inside.
The middle ear begins with the eardrum – sound makes this thin membrane vibrate. The vibration is transferred via three small bones to the inner ear.
The inner ear has a tube called the cochlea, which is wound tightly like a snail shell. From here the neurological process begins – the vibration is turned into electrical impulses and sent to various parts of the brain for processing.
The trauma involved in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) most commonly affects the mechanical process. An eardrum may rupture, any of the small bones could break or there could be bleeding or bruising of the middle ear.
Sometimes damage to the parietal or temporal lobes can disrupt the neurological process. Thankfully, many hearing difficulties are not permanent and can be reduced or eliminated with treatment.