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 5/17/2018
Updated by: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.