Learning about the Ear

The world is full of sounds. There is no corner of the world you can run to where you will be able to experience total silence. Even in far off Antarctica, the ice groans, the wind howls, waves crash on the shore, and the penguins make penguin noises. The ability to hear is truly incredible. Sure you know that ears make hearing possible, but do you know exactly how they do that? Today we will learn about the parts of the ear, which should help you understand how hearing works!

The Outer Ear

The outer eat is made up of the auricle, auditory canal, and the tympanic membrane. This is exactly the part of the ear you think of when someone says the word ‘ear.’ Outer ears come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; there are big ears and small ears, ears with big droopy earlobes, and ears with tiny diminutive earlobes, no matter how each individual outer ear looks, they all perform the same job. The outer ear collects sounds and delivers them through the auricle and auditory canal to the eardrum.

The Middle Ear

The middle ear incudes the eardrum, tympanic cavity, and the ossicles, which itself is made up of the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. Sound that enters the outer ear travels to the eardrum and causes it to vibrate. As the vibrations travel they are amplified and eventually transmitted via the stirrup to the liquid inside the inner ear.

The Inner Ear

The Inner ear includes the oval window, semicircular ducts, cochlea, and auditory tubes. The vibrations transmitted from the stirrup to the liquid in the inner ear travel through the cochlea to the vestibular nerve and the cochlear nerve where they are then converted into nervous impulses and sent on to the brain. The magic of the brain turns these impulses into sounds we can understand. It may seem like magic, but it’s not! Its physiology and science. And maybe a bit of magic.