Ear Canal: The external auditory meatus. The hole in the temporal bone that tunnels the sound from the pinna to the ear drum (tympanic membrane).

 

Eardrum: The tympanic membrane. A thin layer of skin that separates the ear canal from the middle ear cavity. The eardrum converts sound waves into vibrations.

 

Earhook: A portion of a Behind-The-Ear hearing aid that is designed to bend over the top of the ear and connect the aid's casing to the tubing.

 

Eighth Cranial Nerve (CN VIII): The acoustic or auditory nerve which runs from the inner ear to the brainstem which contains fibers that carry auditory and vestibular information.

 

Earmold: A piece of molded material that fills up some portion of the concha bowl and/or ear canal which is connected via tubing to a behind-the-ear hearing aid for the purposes of holding the tubing in place, sealing the canal, and modifying the sound.

 

ENG (Electronystagmography): A special series of tests utilized to evaluate the vestibular system during which eye movements are measured electro physically.

 

Entraiment: An undesired effect of some anti-feedback circuitry in which the feedback reduction algorithm attempts to eliminate an incoming sound as if the sound is feedback when it truly is not.

 

Equilibrium: A body's ability to maintain physical balance by using vestibular, visual and proprioceptive (sense of touch) input.

 

Etiology: In hearing terms, the source or cause of a hearing loss.

 

Eustachian Tube: A small connection between the throat and the middle ear cavity which in the normal human ear system is utilized to equalize the pressure in the middle ear cavity to the pressure in the atmosphere surrounding the body.

 

Eustachian Tube Dysfunction: When the tube that connects the throat and the middle ear cavity becomes inflamed or blocked. Eustachian tube dysfunction can lead to negative pressure, fluid in the middle ear, and/or middle ear infections.

 

Evoked Potentials: Electrical activity in the body measured by electrodes that occurs as a result of a stimulus.

 

Exostosis: A bony growth in the ear canal.

 

External Auditory Meatus: Another name for the ear canal.

 

Feedback: The high-pitched whistling sound that can be emitted by a hearing aid when the hearing aid's microphone picks up its own output, thus re-amplifying itself.

 

Feedback Suppressor Or Cancellor: Technology present in some newer hearing aids that is designed to limit the amount of feedback experienced by hearing aid users. Low-end hearing aids lower gain to reduce feedback, while more advanced hearing aids alter the phase of the signal to control feedback.

 

Fistula: An abnormal hole or rupture somewhere in the body.  This can occur in the eardrum.  A perilymph fistula would occur in the window that connects the middle ear cavity and the cochlea, allowing the leakage of inner ear fluid (perilymph) into the middle ear and often resulting in hearing loss and dizziness.

 

Flat Audiogram: A description of the graph of an individual's hearing thresholds in which the degree of loss present is similar or equal for low, mid and high frequencies.

 

Frequency: Cycles per second. The number of vibrations occurring during a second, resulting in the perceived "pitch" of a sound.

 

Gain: A term used to describe the amount of additional intensity added by a hearing aid or other amplifying device to an incoming signal during the amplification process. This is done to improve the hearing impaired person's ability to hear.

 

Genetic Hearing Loss:  Hearing loss that was inherited from a family member.

 

Hair Cells: Cells present in the cochlea that convert the mechanical energy present in sound vibrations into electrical activity. Hair cells have cilia on the top which are stimulated by movement and on the bottom are connected to fibers of the VIIIth cranial nerve, which carries the impulse to the brain.

 

Hard Of Hearing: A term used to describe hearing-impaired individuals with mild to severe / profound hearing impairment who are not functionally deaf.

 

Head Shadow Effect: Sound presented on one side of the head is less intense when measured on the other side of the head, due to the sound having to travel around the head. The sound intensity difference between ears assists in localization.

 

Hearing Aid: An electronic device which is utilized by an individual with hearing loss to amplify sound and therefore make the sound more audible.

 

Hearing Aid Specialist: A non-audiologist. A hearing healthcare professional who holds a state license that allows him or her to dispense hearing aids.

 

Hearing Disorder: A general term used to describe any disruption in the normal auditory process.

 

Hearing Health Professional:  A general term used for any licensed professional able to measure hearing and dispense hearing instruments.

 

Hearing Loss: The inability to perceive the presence of a sound at normal hearing levels.

 

Helix: The curved / raised rim of the external ear (pinna)

 

Hereditary Hearing Loss: A hearing loss or a propensity for hearing loss that is transferred via genes from parent to offspring.

 

Hertz (Hz): Cycles per second. A name given to describe the frequency or pitch of a sound.

 

High Frequency Hearing Loss: A hearing impairment which is only present or is significantly more prevalent in the higher pitches.