The ear is a fascinating and intricate organ divided into three sections: the outer, middle, and inner ear. The auditory nerve transmits information from the inner ear to the brain for processing. Our professionals at Alberta Hearing Service want you to get acquainted with the structure of the ear and the mechanism of hearing.
The three main parts are detailed below:
The auricle, auditory canal, and eardrum are all located in the outer ear. It allows sounds to be funnelled into the hearing system. The auricle aids in gathering sound waves which are then guided to the eardrum by the auditory canal.
The malleus, incus, and stapes – the smallest bones in the human body – are housed in the middle ear, which is an air-filled cavity. They form the ossicular chain, which at one end attaches to the eardrum and at the other to the Oval Window, a narrow membrane-covered opening on the inner ear wall. The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the throat, keeping the air pressure in the middle ear balanced.
The cochlea processes sensory feedback in the inner ear, while the semicircular canals process information that affects balance. There are tiny hair cells that run the length of the fluid-filled cochlea. When the fluid is replaced by sound waves transmitted by the middle ear bones, the hair cells bend. This causes a chemical reaction, which stimulates the nerve endings.
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