Ears

The ear is the organ of hearing and balance. It has three main parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Sound waves enter the outer ear and proceed to the middle ear, where they cause the eardrum to vibrate. The vibrations move through three tiny bones—the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (stirrup)—in the middle ear and proceed into the inner ear, where they are changed into nerve impulses. These nerve impulses are transmitted by way of the vestibulocochlear nerve to the brain, where they are perceived as sound.

Pinna -

Cochlea

Pinna -

Vestibulocochlear nerve

Cochlea

Middle ear cavity

Eustachian tube

Vestibulocochlear nerve

Middle ear cavity

Eustachian tube

Hearing loss can interfere with your ability to communicate and can compro- 397

mise your safety. Other ear disorders can cause unpleasant symptoms such as Ears ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and loss of balance. Tiny, fluid-filled structures in the inner ear help you keep your balance.

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