Structure and Function of Ear

Structure of ear, Like vision, audition provides us with reliable spatial information over extended distances. It may be even more important than vision to orient us toward distant objects events. The ear is the organ of hearing. It is the means by which sound is collected and converted into impulses which can be conveyed to and interpreted by the brain.

Sound is actually mechanical movement of air molecules in a particular wave pattern. The waves produced by this movement of molecules are known as sound waves. The sound waves travel through the air. Sounds waves vary in two ways, frequency and amplitude.

Frequency measures the number of cycles the wave completes in a given amount of time. It is known as Pitch. For example; the faster a particular vocal cord vibrates, the higher the person’s voice.

Amplitude refers to the amount of pressure (height) of sound waves. The amplitude of the wave determined loudness, which is measured in units known as decibel.

Structure of Ear

The Ear is divided into three main parts

  1. External Ear (Pinna, auditory canal, Ear drum)
  2. Middle Ear ( 3 bones hammer, anvil, stirrup ,Eustachian tube)
  3. Inner Ear (cochlea, oval window,  round window, semicircular canals, auditory nerve)

Structure of External Ear

Structure of External Ear

Pinna: The external, visible and soft cartilage structure is called Pinna. Which transfer sound waves to the middle ear it protects ear from external damage and insects. The pinna serves as a means of collecting waves of sound. The structure of external ear that is called the structure of outer ear.

Auditory canal: it is a tube of approximately 2.5 cm long and about 7mm in diameter. It has fine hairs that prevent the entrance of dust particles and insects.

Ear Drum:  the ear drum. This is a membrane which divides the external ear from the middle ear. In appearance the drum resembles a thin, semi-translucent, blue-grey membrane.

Structure of Middle Ear:

Structure of Middle Ear

 Ossicles: hammer, anvil and stirrup: The hammer bone is the first bone, the anvil one of the smallest bones of the middle ear, is attached almost vertically to the inner side of the tympanic membrane and is visible through it the lest one in stirrup.

Eustachian tube: from the floor of the middle ear there passes downwards an air passage (the Eustachian tube) which opens into the pharynx. Slowly absorb the air in it and this would cause a decrease in air pressure in that cavity if the Eustachian tube did not admit air and so equalize the pressure on both sides of the drum. If this tube gets blocked by severe cold or by the pressure of adenoid growths, the absorption of air takes place. The pressure in the middle ear falls; the tympanic membrane becomes tense and is unable to vibrate and the result is deafness. The Eustachian tube is not permanently open, but it open for a short time during swallowing.

Learn More About the Structure of Neuron.

Structure of Inner Ear
Structure of Inner Ear

The internal ear: cochlea, oval window, round window, semicircular canals, auditory nerve: Cochlea is the main part of inner ear where sound waves become neural impulses nerve. When sound waves pass beyond the oval window they are in the inner ear, cochlea is a tubular fluid-filled structure that is coiled up like a snail. It contains the actual receptors cells for hearing.

Cochlea has two opening oval window and round window. Both these are directed towards the middle ear. These windows are involved in transmission of sound waves to inner ear so that they can be process and transfer to auditory nerve. Vibrations of the perilymph are transmitted to the endo-lymph and so active the nerve endings of the auditory nerve.

Semicircular canals are filled with fluid and involve in hearing and maintaining the balance of the body.

Auditory training is the process in which a physician helps the people who are suffering with hearing loss or deafness. They help patients to recover the ability to process and receive sound and frequencies; through this they can understand language more fluidly, comprehend and understand sounds more efficiently. For example, Audifón is a hearing center give patients simple instructions to help them recognize the frequencies of sound and improve hearing problems, in terms of rehabilitation exercise at home and center as well. Learn more about the Anatomy of Ear and its parts.

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