The ear, one of the most delicate and complex organs in the body, is responsible not only for our hearing but also for our balance.
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How do we hear?
When we hear, sound is first collected by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum (1). The sound vibrates the eardrum, which then vibrates the bones of the middle ear (2-4). The motion of these bones results in movement of the fluid contained in the snail-shaped cochlea (5). As the fluid begins to move, the tiny hair cells lining the cochlea move back and forth to generate an electrical current (6). This electrical current stimulates the hearing nerve, which carries the signal to the brain and is interpreted as sound.
The diagram below illustrates some common sounds and their noise levels.