How We Hear

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. 

The ear is divided into three parts:

  1. Outer ear - the visible outer portion of the ear, plus the ear canal. 

  2. Middle ear - the eardrum and three small bones [(malleus, incus, and stapes]

  3. Inner ear - the fluid-filled, snail-shaped cochlea ("coke-lee-a") which contains thousands of tiny hair cells. The cochlea is attached to the hearing (auditory) nerve.

If you're unsure about the quality of your hearing and how it's impacting your life, schedule an appointment today or complete our quick hearing questionnaire: 

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human ear diagram | Ashland ENT Ashland Ohio

How do we hear?

 

How do we hear? | Ashland ENT Ashland Ohio

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.

Sound frequency chart - Ashland ENT

 

Ashland ENT
2212 Mifflin Avenue
Suite 130
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Phone: (419) 289-8919
Hearing Center: (419) 289-1937 

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