Hearing is one of the five senses of the human body and allows us to hear . Its main organs are the ears (formerly called “ears”).

The fact that we have one ear on each side of the head, helps us to have a better perception of the location of the sound source.

The ear

Anatomy of the ear

The human ear is divided into three segments: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Its main parts are:

  • Auricular Pavilion: the outermost part of the ear, formed by cartilages, through which sound waves enter the ear canal.
  • Auditory Canal: makes the connection between the middle ear and the outside.
  • Hammer: small bone located in the middle ear, which at one end is connected to the eardrum and at the other, to the anvil. It receives the sound vibration and transmits it to the inner ear.
  • Anvil: a small bone located in the middle ear that at one end is connected to the hammer and at the other to the stirrup.
  • Stapes: small bone located in the middle ear, which at one end is connected to the anvil and at the other to the oval window.
  • Tympanum: extremely thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It transmits the vibration of sound waves to the small bones located in the middle ear (anvil, stirrup and hammer).
  • Cochlea: also called “snail”, it is located in the inner ear. It is a receiving organ that is sensitive to different pitches. It is responsible for converting the vibration of sound waves into electrical impulses.
  • Oval window: opening that connects the middle ear to the inner ear.
  • Auditory Nerve:transmits information to the brain that, after being interpreted, allows the perception of sound.

Woman’s external ear

The external ear , is what we commonly call “ear”. Through it, sound waves from the air are captured, which go through the ear canal and then pass through the middle ear, located more internally, making the eardrum and the three small bones of the middle ear vibrate : hammer, anvil and stirrup.

This vibration reaches the oval window, which makes the connection between the middle ear and the inner ear, which, as the name says, is the one located in the innermost part of the ear.

In the inner ear , also known as the “labyrinth”, the vibration reaches the cochlea, an organ whose interior has liquids and small hairs.

With vibration, liquids and hair stimulate the auditory nerve, causing electrical impulses that are interpreted by the brain as sound.

To find out more :

  • Senses of the Human Body
  • Smell
  • Nervous system
  • Nerve Impulse Transmission
  • Noise pollution
  • Sound waves

Hearing Diseases

  • Labyrinth diseases: we usually call everything labyrinthitis, but there is also Ménière ‘s disease and other types of vertigo They cause dizziness, headache, imbalance and malaise;
  • Otitis: infection of the middle ear with inflammation and fluid accumulation. It causes a lot of pain and if it is frequent it can lead to deafness;
  • Presbycusis: aging-related hearing loss;
  • Deafness: absence or considerable hearing impairment;
  • Tinnitus: noises that only the person hears, such as “ghost sounds”, which can be like the sound of bees or hisses. Usually associated with hearing loss.

Can Affect Hearing

  • Exposure to very loud sounds;
  • Noise pollution;
  • Perforation of the eardrum;
  • Otitis in the middle ear;
  • Fracture of the bones of the middle ear;
  • Trauma with head injuries.


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