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Structure of Human Ear

The Human Ear

The ear consists of three distinct parts - the outer, middle and inner ear.

The Outer Ear:

The outer ear consists of the pinna and the cavity called auditory canal down which air vibrations travel to reach the tightly stretched membrane called the eardrum. These vibrations cause the eardrum to vibrate. The vibrations are then passed on to the middle ear.



The Middle Ear:
The middle ear consists of the inside of the eardrum and the three bones - the hammer, anvil and stirrup - attached to it. These bones transmit the vibrations to the inner ear.

The Inner Ear:
The inner ear consists of the three semicircular canals and the cochlea. The cochlea is a coiled tube and is the real organ of hearing. Coiling down the middle of its whole length is the basilar membrane, which has a large number of hair cells across its width. These cells are connected by nerves to the brain. They transmit the vibrations as nerve impulses to the brain. The brain interprets the nerve impulses and produces the sensations, which we call sound.

Care of the Ear:
The ear is a delicate organ and proper care should be taken to avoid damage to the eardrum.

1. Never use hairpins or matchsticks to clean the inner ear. Use soft ear buds made of cotton wool or soft cloth.

2. Do not blow your nose too hard. This can damage the eardrum.

3. Sudden change of pressure caused by a loud noise or a heavy blow can rupture the eardrum. So use earplugs when you are in a place such as a factory where noise pollution is high. Never hit anybody on the ear.

4.Consult an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist if you have any pain in the ear. 


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