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Have you ever wondered how we’re able to hear sound? Five-year-old Anson Wong can explain just how sound travels through your ear, and how your brain makes sense of it.

What is sound?

It’s probably best to start with how sound travels through the air. Sound is created by compressions and rarefactions of air. Compression are places where air is compressed and rarefactions occur when the air is less dense.

Those compressions and rarefactions create a sound, which eventually reaches your ear.

How do we hear sound?

The sound enters your ear through the pinna, also known as the outer ear.


“It’s the outer part,” Anson explained. “You can see it. It’s called the pinna. The pinna’s job is to let sound in your ear.”

After passing through the pinna, the sound enters the ear canal and reaches the ear drum.

“The sound beats the ear drum, which is really light, and hit the stirrup,” said Anson.

The sound vibrates the ear drum and causes a tiny series of bones, know as ossicles, to move in the ear.

The last bone in the chain moves the membrane window of the cochlea and causes fluid in the ear, called the endolymph, to move.

“It sends signals to the nerves and then it reaches the brain,” explained Anson.

What causes hearing loss?

People experience hearing problems when part of the ear isn’t responding.

According to Hearing Link, people with cochlear hearing problems experience either conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss or a combination of the two.

Conductive hearing loss happens when the sound is not being transferred well. It can be caused by things like an ear infection.

A cochlear or neural hearing loss is know and sensorineural hearing loss. It’s caused by things like old age and loud noise

Anson’s Answers features a 5-year-old genius. He has a college-level grasp on various areas of science, dreams of becoming the president and can speak multiple languages. Did you catch that he’s just 5 years old? Anson has a passion for teaching others and loves to share videos explaining the human body, the laws of physics and his ideas for the future. Grab a seat, because Professor Anson’s class is in session!

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