Inner Working of Ears
The ears comprise only a small part of our bodies, but play a significant role in our lives. The ears are broken down into three different parts: the inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear. Each of these parts works together to enable us to decode and process sounds to enable us to hear properly.
The outer ear is called the auricle or the pinna, and is the part that is visible from each side of your head. The middle ear comprises of the ear canal, eardrum, and the ossicle bones. Each of these parts leads to the inner ear which consists of the cochlea which has further connections that collaborate with the brain to help decipher and decode sound.
Sound enters through the outer ear which acts as a funnel to catch all types of sound and sent them into the ear shaft. Once the sound reaches the middle ear it travels through the ear canal to the eardrum. Here, the waves of sound are converted into vibrations that vibrate against three bones known as the ossicles. These bones, known as the malleus, incus, and stapes, are the most sensitive and delicate bones in your body. The ossicle bones transmit the sound vibrations to the cochlea, which is filled with liquid. This liquid begins to move and tiny hairs within the cochlea register this movement to develop electric impulses that are sent to your brain. Your brain proceeds to decode this signal to make sense of the information you received through your ears.
Your ears not only help you hear, they also help keep you balanced and upright. Within the inner ear, three tiny hoops known as the semicircular canals contain fluid that moves along with your head movements. Tiny hairs within these canals send electric messages to your brain which helps you make appropriate muscle movements to help you maintain your balance. If there is constant head movement, this fluid continues to move and causes you get feel dizzy, such as during a rollercoaster ride.
Hearing loss can therefore not only disrupt your hearing, but also your ability to lead a functional life. Make sure you test your hearing appropriately and take the necessary steps to help rectify your hearing loss.