Sometimes it can be easy to forget just how complex and miraculous the human body is. And one of the most delicate and important body parts is the human ear. We see a lot of different hearing problems at our Salinas hearing clinic, and we often find that our customers don’t know as much as they could about how their ears work.
Whether or not you’re experiencing hearing problems in Salinas, knowing the basics of how your ears work can help you care for them properly, understand where any potential problems may arise and help educate others about how their ears work. If that sounds useful and appealing to you, read on to learn about the three basic parts of the human ear.
The inner ear
You can probably guess that the inner ear plays a big role in hearing, but what some people might not know is that it is also very important when it comes to balance. That’s because the inner ear contains a couple of the most delicate sensory organs we have.
First, there’s the cochlea. A small, bony organ in the shape of a snail, the cochlea contains endolymph and perilymph, two fluids. It also holds the Organ of Corti, an even smaller organ that has some very sensitive hair follicles that pick up sound waves and vibrations. In other words, the cochlea is the part of your ear most responsible for actually hearing.
Canals located in the cochlea are where balance comes into the mix. If you’ve ever suffered from dizziness and vertigo, there was likely something amiss with your cochlea.
The middle ear
You’ve probably heard of an eardrum, but have you ever wondered why it has that name? The reason is that it operates in much the same way as an actual drum, collecting sound waves and sending the vibrations to your inner ear. Three tiny bones called ossicles serve to connect the inner and middle ears.
If you’ve ever had a sinus infection, you know that your ears, nose and throat are closely linked, for better or worse. This is thanks to your middle ear, whose Eustachian tube connects to your nasal cavity. When the Eustachian tube is working properly, this helps establish a healthy balance. When it’s thrown off course, several different health problems can occur.
Because the middle ear is mostly hollow, it can be easily disrupted by a change in pressure, which is why so many people experience a strange plugged-up sensation during or after a flight. Yawning can help to relieve that pressure.
The outer ear
And that brings us to the outer ear, the part of the ear visible to the naked eye. Our ears are shaped the way they are in order to effectively catch sound waves from different directions and send them to our middle and inner ears. The outer ear also helps inform which direction the sound wave is coming from.
If you’re experiencing hearing problems in Salinas, come by Valley Hearing Center. We can help you figure out which part of the ear the problems are stemming from.
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