Dr. Kohan was interviewed for Martha Stewart magazine on ear care tips.
The sounds all around us—from Lady Gaga belting out her latest ballad to the buzzing of an electric toothbrush—come in loud and clear thanks to a truly miraculous feat of bioengineering. We’re born with 20,000 or so microscopic hair cells that carpet our inner ear; a tiny hair springs out of each one. Sound waves reach them via the ear canal, rippling the hairs; those oscillations trigger the cells to send electric signals to the brain’s temporal lobe, where the auditory cortex receives and deciphers the noise’s what, where, and why. And all this happens in under a second. The quality of our internal audio system hinges on those hair cells.
“They’re resilient, but their ability to withstand harm diminishes with age and years of noise exposure—or, suddenly, if a sound is loud enough—until the damage becomes irreversible and the cells die,” explains Darius Kohan, MD, a clinical associate professor of otolaryngology at NYU Langone School of Medicine.
Read the full article online.