The structure of the ear

The structure of the ear.  Image source

Organ of hearing (ear) consists of two parts: a peripheral and central. The peripheral portion contains the sound-conducting (Outside andaverage ear) and zvukovosprinimayuschego (inner ear) devices, the central nerve fibers is presented, forming the pathways that result in cerebral cortex in the temporal lobes.

External ear consists of the pinna and external auditory meatus. In infants and young children auditory a short pass and slot tapers towards the eardrum. The boundary of the outer and middle ear is the eardrum. A child up to two months, it is much thicker and is almost level.

Middle ear lies deep in the temporal bone and consists of three interconnected parts:

  • tympanic cavity,
  • auditory (eustachian) tube connecting the drum cavity from the nasopharynx,
  • cave with the surrounding cells of the mastoid process.

The tympanum contains a chain of auditory ossicles (hammer, anvil, stirrup) that allow for the transfer of sound vibrations from the eardrum inner ear.

The most important element of the middle ear is Eustachian (auditory) tube, connects the tympanic cavity to the outside. Its mouth opens into the nasopharynx on the sidewalls at the level of the hard palate. At rest, the mouth of the pharyngeal auditory pipe closed and only opens when making sucking and swallowing movements.

In infants and young children auditory tube is short and wide, increasing the risk of infection from the nasopharynx to the middle ear.

The inner ear (or labyrinth) lies deep in the temporal bone. The dungeon consists of the cochlea and the semicircular canals, which contain the sound-system and the nervous cell receptors of the vestibular apparatus. Vestibular analyzer controls balance, body position in space and muscle tone. Due to the anatomical similarities of these two systems defeat the inner ear can cause, in addition to hearing loss, vestibular disorder. The main feature of these disorders is dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

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