Your ears are advanced, very sensitive organs which detect and analyze sound and help you maintain your sense of balance.
The ear has three main parts:
Each one performs a specific function in a process which allows sound waves to enter the ear and to be transformed into electrical impulses that the brain can understand.
How Hearing Works
- The outer ear catches and directs sound waves into the ear canal.
- The ear canal carries the sound waves to the eardrum.
- Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate.
- The bones in the middle ear pick up these vibrations.
- Vibrations pass through to the cochlea, setting the fluid inside this structure into motion. Special hair cells in the cochlea turn the sound waves into electrical impulses.
- The auditory nerve sends these electrical impulses to the brain where they are heard as sound.