(2017, September 07). Its inner surface faces the malleus, incus, and stapes, which act to further focus and amplify the vibrations that the tympanic membrane receives. As a result, people with inner ear infections can experience dizziness; the illusion that the room is “spinning” when they move their head; and a “shaky camera” effect where their vision wobbles with every small movement of their heads.

In some animals, including most mammals, the ear is also used for balance. So it can allow adequate energy supply between the air-filled middle ear and the fluids of inner air. In this article, we will focus on the structure and anatomy of the human ear.

It does this through a system of many parts, including: Today, modern medicine allows many people with malformed or damaged cochleas to hear better using devices such as cochlear implants, which artificially produce electrochemical impulses that our auditory nerves can understand. The entire length of the passage (24 mm, or almost 1 inch) is lined with skin, which also covers the outer surface of the tympanic membrane. The auricle also has several small rudimentary muscles, which fasten it to the skull and scalp. In general, the tympanic membrane is called the eardrum. The outer hair cells are arranged in three rows and inner hair cells are arranged in single row.
Just as the eyes turn certain wavelengths of light into images, so the ear turns certain wavelengths of vibration into sounds. It collects the acoustic energy and augments the amplitude of the mechanic-acoustic stimuli in the inner ear. Fortunately, our semicircular canals work most of the time! They send information on balance and head position to the brain.

The waves from the middle year cause vibration in inner ear fluid and it makes cilia vibrate. The malleus, incus, and stapes are three tiny, remarkable bones. Sorry!, This page is not available for now to bookmark. Most inner ear infections last only a few days or weeks – just long enough to remind us of how amazing our bodies really are. Different parts of the ear and their functions are very important for hearing. It is filled with fluid and contains the organ of Corti. Different structures of the human ear help in different functions.

The middle ear consists of three tiny bones and it is filled with air.

The deepest depression, which leads directly to the external auditory canal, or acoustic meatus, is called the concha.

His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle. The outer ear is called the pinna and is made of ridged cartilage covered by skin. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In the semicircular canals, these hair cells respond to the movement of otoliths – tiny calcium carbonate crystals which can shift in response to gravity and motion, causing them to press on hair cells and release nerve impulses. This can happen due to ear infection, trauma to the ear, or, accumulation of ear wax. The semicircular canals are similar to the cochlea in that they are bony canals which are filled with fluid and lined with hair cells. It also contains fluid and helps in movement. Different structures of the human ear help in different functions. The eustachian (auditory) tube drains fluid from the middle ear into the throat (pharynx) behind the nose. In the inner ear, a structure named cochlea is observed. This allows us to distinguish the pitch of a sound. The bony part near the eardrum is called auditory bulla, it is formed by temporal bone. The semicircular canals in the inner ear are situated vertically to each other. The pinna, and the other parts of the outer ear, are labeled below: The stiff, rigid parts of the pinna are made of cartilage, just like our noses. © 2014 WebMD, LLC. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); External ear is composed of auricle and external auditory canal (meatus). The inner ear is also termed as cochlea, which is a dual membrane delicate structure, with fluids filled between the membranes and lined with hair cells.

The mucus membrane lining the nasopharynx is also continuous with membrane of tympanic cavity through eustachiantube.

Indeed, the movement of ions across the hair cell membranes cause electrochemical signals, which are ultimately sent to the auditory nerve.

The vestibular system consists of 3 semi-circular canals, saccule, and utricle.

C. They amplify vibrations from the ear canal and transmit them to the inner ear.

The tympanic membrane, or “ear drum” is a thin, tightly-stretched membrane that separates the outer from the middle ear. A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body.



The basilar membrane has organ of corti formed about 24000 receptor auditory cells. Human Ear Diagram: As you can see in the human ear diagram, it is designed in such a way that it captures the maximum auditory stimuli from the atmosphere and transfers them to the brain for translating into hearing response. The main function of the cochlea is to help in hearing.

It is oval bluish grey membranous structure located on medial part of auditory meatus. The outer ear consists of the fleshy pinna, the outer and inner rim curving of the pinna is called helix and antihelix respectively. People with pinnas that have been damaged can still hear, but typically do not hear as well as people with intact pinnas. It has two sacs; larger upper utriculus and smaller lower sacculus. The oval window is a small membrane which lies at the border between the middle and inner ears. Biologydictionary.net Editors. Mixed hearing loss: This type of hearing loss is the mixture of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Let us have an overview of the structure and functions of the human ear. 2. The way they wave through air as the giant mammal moves? The cup-like shape is left over from ancestors who could move their ears to focus sound. Humans are one of such gifted species.
C. The cup-like shape is a freak mutation that occurs during embryogenesis. It contains two glands; sebaceous gland and ceruminous gland. It receive sound wave and amplify into appropriate magnitude. Pinna directs the sound wave toward the eardrum through the auditory canal and the eardrum amplifies it. For example, the ear has three main portions, each having its own role to play. The spiral-shaped cochlea is part of the inner ear; it transforms sound into nerve impulses that travel to the brain. There are two ears, each located on either side of the face, in perfect symmetry with those of the facial features. So, we can call the middle ear as the impedance matcher. Anatomy and Physiology In this article, we will focus on the structure and anatomy of the human ear. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The pinna of the outer ear protects the eardrum from intense sound and channels the sound to the eardrum through the auditory canal.

", https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/meniere.asp, https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/763918-overview, https://www.medicinenet.com/tinnitus/article.htm, https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ruptured-eardrum/DS00499, https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acoustic-neuroma/DS00803/DSECTION=symptoms, https://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo-bppv-topic-overview.

It serves to sends electrical impulses to the brain, i.e. The eardrum vibrates and transmits the sound to the inner ear. Human Ear: Structure and Anatomy Retrieved August 21, 2017, from http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/us/home/about-us-and-hearing-loss/hearing-loss-explained. In its outer third, the wall of the canal consists of cartilage; in its inner two-thirds, of bone. External ear (outer ear): Auricle (pinna) and external auditory meatus; Middle ear: tympanic membrane and auditory ossicles; Inner ear: vestibules, semicircular canal, cochlea The oval window is involved in amplification. We will talk in more detail about these parts of the ear in the “Parts of the Ear” section below. The anterior and posterior canals opens at one end to form common duct called crus commune. Gaurab Karki