Hearing Advisor


 
 

How do ears work?

 

The ear is a very complex organ comprising of three parts. The Outer Ear, Middle Ear and Inner Ear. It is important that each part is functioning correctly for us to hear properly. Let’s take a look at how each part of the ear worksAnatomy of the ear:

 

The Outer Ear

The Outer Ear includes the pinna, the ear canal and the ear drum. The Outer Ear was not designed just to hang your glasses on, the reason it has all the flaps and folds is to catch sound and direct it down to the ear drum,  this helps in localising where a sound is coming from.

The Middle Ear

The Middle Ear is an air filled cavity that contains 3 tiny bones (the hammer, anvil and stirrup), which are connected to both the ear drum and the inner ear. When sounds hit the eardrum they cause it to vibrate and these vibrations are transmitted by the bones in the middle ear to a small part on the inner ear.

The Inner Ear

The vibrations from the Middle Ear are then converted into an electrical impulse. The Cochlea, a small snail shaped organ, converts these vibrations into an electric impulse that transmits to the area of the brain in charge of processing and interpreting what we hear. Our brain then has the ability to sort and filter the important information we want to hear from that which is just noise – very clever!

Anatomy of the ear

The following short video provides a digital representation of how the ear works:

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