Hearing : Anatomy Of The Ear

The ears are one of the body’s most delicate systems and if we’re not aware of the noise around us we may lose not only our hearing, we may also our balance (equilibrium).

The ear is divided into three parts, the outer, middle and inner ear. The outer ear consists of three basic parts: the outer external ear that we see, the external ear canal where earwax is produced and the eardrum or drum-head. Thin, soft tissue walls separate the parts of the outer ear.

Inside the middle ear is the eustachian tube that opens into the rear of the nasal airway. When we yawn to clear our ears we’re opening the eustachian tubes to equalize pressure between the ear and our outer environment. The middle ear also houses the three hearing bones, the ossicles. The ossicles consists of three bones, the hammer, anvil and stirrup. These three bones take the pressure on the eardrum and magnify it for transmission into the liquid of the inner ear. The amplification produced by the three bones is necessary since liquids usually reflect sound. If you’ve ever been at a lake and been able to hear people talking on the other side, you’ve experienced this sound reflection. (A phenomenon that has always seemed strange to me is when people are in a boat with the motor running and sitting within feet of each other. They have to yell to be heard but they can be easily heard from hundreds of yards away). If the ossicles or their joints, become hardened, hearing loss will result. Vitamin D, both in whole food form and as supplements, has shown in research studies to help if the problem stems from hardening of the bones or joints. Iron deficiencies can be directly related to both sight and hearing loss. Sonus complete reviews will help us to know how to over come the hearing issues.

The inner ear performs two distinct functions. The cochlea is responsible for hearing and the vestibule is connected with balance or equilibrium. Lining the inner ear are cells called hair cells. Hair cells are sensory receptors that change the hearing and balance signals into electrical nerve impulses for transmission to the brain. Part of our balance comes from visual orientation from the eyes, part from the liquid in the inner ear and part from proprioceptors, specialized sensory nerve endings located throughout the body.

Proprioceptors monitor changes in the body brought about by movement or muscular activity. Proprioceptors located in the muscles or tendons transmit the information that coordinates muscular activity. Proprioceptors act like a middleman for balance the same as the spinal column works with the brain. If we had to wait for information to go to the brain and back to the hand when we grab something hot, we could get severely burned. Receptors in the spinal column can return the “let go” information more quickly. If we had to wait for information to go to the inner ear and back, where balance is concerned, we’d fall a lot more often. Proprioceptors located throughout the body can provide balance information more quickly. Balance can be improved through exercises that also contribute to improved muscle tone and tendon strength.

Various degrees of hearing loss affect 27+ million people in the U. S. with more and more young people having losses that are equal to people 40 years their senior. A large contributing factor is the constant noise from loud music, TV and concerts. The problem is progressive, the louder it gets, the louder it has to get to be heard. The ears will produce larger amounts of wax as a defense against loud noise.

Ear wax, inflammation, middle ear infections and rigidity of the ossicles are all possible causes of what’s termed as conductive hearing loss. The other type of hearing loss is called sensorineural and usually results from damage to the auditory nerve that carries information to the brain or damage or loss of the hair cells of the inner ear. Hair cells can’t regenerate and that type of hearing loss is permanent. Sensorineural hearing loss can be present from birth, caused by drugs during pregnancy or use of drugs by the person experiencing the hearing problem, high fever, exposure to loud music, gunshots, smoking, trauma, constant rumbling noise as heard in a factory or while operating heavy equipment.

About the author


Patrick Ballino created Festival of News Magazine and he loves writing about Arts and Entertainment. He and his team love creating content for their audience.