I can hear people speak, but sometimes I can understand what they say. How are hearing and understanding related?

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I can hear people speak, but sometimes I can understand what they say. How are hearing and understanding related?

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Understanding words and sentences is a function of your brain. Your ears collect sound, transform it into nerve impulses and send them to the brain where understanding takes place. If damage of the nerves (cilia) has occurred, understanding may become difficult or sometimes impossible because parts of the sound are missing. A properly fitted digital hearing instrument is designed to compensate for a loss of sound. and may improve your ability to understand again.