Auditory Anatomy

The ear is divided into three main regions:

External ear

Collects sound waves and directs them into the head

Middle ear

Conveys the sound vibrations to the oval window

Inner ear

Contains the receptors for hearing and equilibrium anatomy of the ear

External Ear

The external ear is made up of the auricle (the bit on the side of your head), the external auditory canal and the eardrum. The auricle attached to the head by muscles and ligaments and is shaped like the flared end of a trumpet. It is made of skin-covered cartilage its unique shape allows it to collect sound effectively.

The external auditory canal is a curved tunnel about an inch long that lies within the temporal bone of the skull. It basically channels sound from the auricle to the eardrum. Near to the auricle, the auditory canal contains a few hairs and specialiased swaet glands that secrete ear wax and together they help prevent foreign objects from entering the ear.

The eardrum, also known as the tympanic membrane is a thin sheet of skin enriched with collagen and elastic fibres. This sheet separates the external ear abd the middle ear. If this sheet is torn it is called a perforated ear drum and this can be caused by pressure, a middle ear infection or trauma from a cotton swab.


Image courtesy of Wiki Commons