The Ear

How it works, the structure, how it's related to sound

How is the Ear structured?

The ear has 3 main portions, the outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear. The outer ear is called the pinna and the pinna is made up of rigid cartilage covered by skin. Ear wax contains chemicals that help fight off infections, it also traps dirt to keep it clean.

What happens in the Middle Ear?

The eustachian (auditory) tube drains fluid from the middle ear into the throat (pharynx) behind the nose. The middle ear itself lies deep to the eardrum and is an air-filled space that holds three small bones (the hammer, anvil and stirrup), which connects the eardrum to the inner ear. The eardrum is a very thin piece of skin that has been stretched out which is why its so sensitive. The 3 tiny bones then leads straight into the inner ear.

What happens in the Inner Ear?

The inner ear is probably the most remarkably intricate piece of the body. It makes hearing possible by converting sound into electrical impulses that then travel along the hearing nerve to the brain. In the cochlea has tiny hairs which has been transformed into electric nerves from the fluid and then the nerves get sent into the brain which then the brain understands and there you have your sound.

How it's related to sound?

Sound funnels through the pinna into the eardrum (middle ear). Sound causes the eardrum and its tiny attached bones to in the middle to vibrate. The vibrations are conducted to one of the inner portion (cochlea). The spiral shaped cochlea it transforms sound into nerves impulses that travels into the brain. Sound travels as small waves of pressure through the air. The waves of sound are rather like ripples on the surface of a pond spreading out after a stone has been thrown in.
How Your Ears Work