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Human Ear Structure and Function

Last updated date: 25th Feb 2024
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Explanation about Human Ear Structure and its Function

The face is the index of the mind. We have four among five sense organs are there in the face. And, of course, the face is covered by the fifth sense organ skin. One of the important sense organs is the ear. It is a hearing organ. It is also used as a balance for mammals. So it is essential to learn about the internal structure of the human ear and its function in detail.

Structure of Human Ear

The structure of the ear has three parts. They are,

  • Outer Ear

  • Middle Ear

  • Inner Ear

Outer Ear

The name itself tells that it is the external part of the ear. It has two subdivisions. They are:

  • Pinna or Auricle: It is the part that is visible from the outside. It is available on the side of the head. It helps to collect all the sounds and sends them to the ear canal. It is the initial stage for the entire hearing process. The process done by Pinna is called sound isolation.

  • External Auditory Canal or Tube: Simply, we call this an ear canal.

  • Tympanic Membrane: It is usually known as the eardrum. It divides both the outer ear and middle ear.

Middle Ear

Ossicles: It is a small narrow air-filled cavity. It has a set of three bones that perform three different activities. The three bones are,

  • Malleus

  • Incus

  • Stapes

This section of the middle ear is very important and sensitive too. Because it has various air spaces, it transfers signals from the inner ear to the outer ear and vice versa. Also, stapes is the smallest bone in the entire human body. Another highlight of this part is, it navigates the infections to travel into the ear.

Eustachian Tube: Another subdivision of the middle ear. It helps to equalize the air pressure between the inner and outer surfaces of the eardrum.

Inner Ear: Labyrinth is the scientific name of the inner ear. It is the main hearing organ. It performs both functions of the human ear, namely-hearing, and balancing. It has different sub-sections. They are:

The cochlea, a snail-shaped that helps in the hearing activity. The vestibule and Semicircular canals are filled with fluids like different chambers. All these bony structures maintain a balanced function.

In this way, we can explain the structure of the ear that receives sound signals from the outer ear and convert them into waves in the middle ear. Finally reaches the inner ear with the help of the brain.

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The sense organ, the ear, performs two major functions. They are hearing and balancing.

Hearing:  The major function performed by the human ear is to hear. It can be done by the eardrum. It vibrates automatically when it receives a signal of sound. The middle ear has three tiny bones, and steps are one among them. It is the smallest bone in the entire body. It passes the sound waves to the inner ear.

Balance: As we know, balancing means neutralizing the situation. Here, the ear needs to hear the sound from its inner part and respond with other sense organs and follow the rules of the cerebrum and cerebellum, which are the parts of the human brain. All the tasks should be done properly in parallel. The whole process is nothing but balancing. The internal structure of the ear also performs all their duties in a balancing way.

It is a brief explanation of the structure of the human ear and its function. It has few more parts like the oval window, incus, etc. All these can be shown in a pictorial representation.

Structure of Human Ear Diagram

The below diagram explains the simple structure of the ear in a pictorial form. These diagrams are easy to understand and can remember the parts along with their positions.

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Hence we understood the ear structure anatomy and its functions. As it is one of the sense organs, it is essential and helpful. We may see many people with a hearing disability. So, we should take care of our sensitive ears and make them perform their duties smoothly. It is also appreciable to have regular check-ups and cleaning like wax removal with specialists.

FAQs on Human Ear Structure and Function

1.What are the General Problems of the Ear?

Ans. As the ear is a sensitive organ in our body, it plays a vital role. We need to take more care also for protecting them. Because several air diseases may arise and lead to severity. Some of them are,

  • The basic and general ear disease is inflammation of the middle ear. It builds up some fluid with infection, which causes irritation, pain, pulling sensation, etc. It is mostly absorbed in the young kids within the age of 7 years old.

  • Another problem is the extension of the above one. If the fluid forms in a sticky form and cannot be cleared for a longer time, then it leads to hearing problems. Sometimes it leads to permanent loss of hearing.

  • The most common issue is wax. Formation of Wax can disturb a lot and also increases the infection. So it is better to go for wax removal with proper medical guidance.

2. Why do Few People Hesitate to Swim Because of Their Ears?

Ans. Some people may face specific water issues like their ears cannot have more resistance power in the water. They can't swim for a long time, they cannot enjoy water sports, and some people may also avoid head washes. So these people will hesitate to swim.

3. Name Some Preventive Measures to Protect our Ears?

Ans. As prevention is better than cure, it is always good to take some preventive steps to protect ours instead of worrying about diseases. They are:

  • We should use earplugs if we have swimmers' ears.

  • We should not clean the wax using sharper pins or any metal objects.

  • Usage of cotton buds is good but not more often.

  • Ear protectors will help our ears from loud noises and sound pollution.

  • Seeking a doctor's advice is always good when any kind of year issue has been raised.

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