We hear thousands of sounds each day, but we have seldom wondered about one of the most important parts of our body- the ear. It is responsible for gathering the sound vibrations from our surroundings and transmitting it to our brain. Our ear is composed of three main sections, the outer, middle and inner ear.
The outer or external ear is also known as pinna, and is made up of soft tissue and cartilage. This is the part of the ear that is visible to us and the main function is just to gather the sounds falling on it. The peculiar shape of the pinna helps amplify certain frequencies and helps in determining the direction of sound. Another part of external ear is the eardrum, which measures about an inch and extends from the pinna to the eardrum. It is a sensitive part, which makes the sounds clearer and deeper. The middle ear contains 3 bones- malleus, incus and stapes which link the eardrum with the inner ear. Eustachian tube is located between the back of throat and middle ear, and plays an important role when the sound passes through the middle ear, and also equalizes air pressure. The inner ear is made up of cochlea and vestibular part. The vestibular part is mainly concerned for static and dynamic balance. Cochlea is shaped like a shell and is filled with cochlear fluid, which moves in presence of sound. The impulses are processed by a part of brain known as temporal lobe.
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