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How the ear functions

The human ear is a precisely tuned system with a sensitivity and range that easily outperforms the most elaborate sound system ever manufactured. The ear contains many physiological mechanisms, and a breakdown or disruption in any of these can result in hearing difficulties. Fortunately, in most cases you can improve your hearing by wearing hearing aids.

The anatomy of the ear

The ear is made up of three different parts.

The outer ear:

The shape of the outer ear helps to collect the sound waves and direct them through the auditory canal to the eardrum.

The middle ear:

Contains the eardrum and three tiny bones: the Hammer, Anvil and Stirrup (also called the Malleus, Incus and Stapes). These amplify the sound waves.

The inner ear:

Sound waves are changed into electrical impulses by the cochlea.  There are tiny sensory cells along the entire length of the fluid-filled cochlea. The cochlea transmits the message via the nerve fibres to the area of the brain in charge of processing and interpreting what we hear.

Did you know that the smallest bones of the human body are found inside the ear?  They are called the Hammer, Anvil and Stirrup.