Hearing Screening E-Learning Course

Hearing Screening E-Learning Course

Hearing Anatomy

The Anatomy of the Ear

Image: Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436.

The main anatomical structures of the auditory system are:

The outer ears, which start at the pinna or auricle, and extend through the external ear canal, and ends at the tympanic membrane (eardrum).

The middle ears, which begin with the eardrum and include three small bones called ossicles that vibrate in response to sound waves entering the ear. This movement conducts the sound into the inner ear. The middle ear also includes the eustachian tube, which maintains air pressure in the middle ear equal to pressure in the ear canal.

The inner ears, which contain the sensory organ for hearing within the cochlea (pronounced COKE-lee-uh). The cochlea contains thousands of tiny hair cells in a fluid filled capsule. These hairs cells transform the vibrations from the middle ear into neural impulses which are sent to the auditory nerve. The inner ear also contains the organ of balance called the labyrinth.

The auditory nerves, which are a pair of nerves that connect each inner ear with the brain and transmit the neural impulses related to hearing and balance.

The auditory cortex, which is part of the cerebral cortex of the brain that processes auditory information and performs basic and higher functions of hearing.

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