Sound is an important one; all living things have the capability to hear sound using the organ ear. Sound travels from one place to another using the air, it is called a sound wave. In the human body, the most sensitive organ is the ear. The main function of the ear is to detect, transmit, and transduce sound.
Major parts of the ears
There are four major parts in the organ ears. They are
- External or outer ear
- Tympanic membrane (eardrum)
- Middle ear ( tympanic cavity )
- Inner ear
External or outer ear
The outer ear consists of :
- Pinna or auricle – This is the outer side part of the ear.
- External auditory canal or tube – This is the tube that is linked from the outer ear to the middle ear.
Tympanic membrane (eardrum)
The tympanic membrane partitions the external ear from the middle ear.
Middle ear (tympanic cavity)
The middle ear, consisting of:
Ossicles are three tiny bones that are linked and transfer sound waves to the inner ear. The three bones are called:
Eustachian tube – A canal that connects the tympanic cavity with the back of the nose. The eustachian tube supports to adjust and balance the pressure in the middle ear. Balanced pressure is important for the correct transfer of sound waves. The eustachian tube is connected with mucus, just like the inside of the nose and throat.
The inner ear consists of the cochlea, vestibule, and Semicircular canals.
- Cochlea- It contains the nerves for hearing sounds from outside surroundings.
- Vestibule- It mainly detects changes in gravity and linear acceleration.
- Semicircular canals- It contains receptors for balance.
Amazing facts about Ears
- Human ears have the capability to hear frequencies up to 20,000 Hz and as low as 20 Hz.
- Human ears have the capability to hear most sounds, but they won’t hear high decibel sounds. When a person starts to hear high decibel sounds, it will automatically make ringing or buzzing sounds.
- The human ear has to process these waves while they are coming at a rate of 1223 kilometers per hour; that evens out to 1,130 feet per second!
- One can measure Sound as a change in pressure when sound waves reach the ear. The unit to measure sound is decibels (dB). The very low hearing threshold of the young, healthy ear is Zero decibels (dB).
- The decibel (dB) measurement was named after the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.
- Whenever sound reaches the organ ear, it is converted into electric impulses by the cochlea and the organ of Corti; These impulses are then transferred to the brain.
- So, the human brain never gets the actual sound, It’s a little like morse code.
- The innermost part of the ear is the cochlea, it is the size of a pea and looks like a snail shell, and if disengaged, it would be like a mini-tube of about 31.5mm long.
Some More Facts about Ears
- The human body has very tiny bones in the ears.
- Naturally, the human ear has the power to self-clean. The pores present in the ear canal make cerumen (earwax), and the small hairs called cilia push it along with the detritus it traps out of the ear canal. Many people find earwax “gross,” It protects the ear from friction, dust particles, and dirt. People don’t need to clean their ears, Unless they have an excessive amount of dirt in them.
- Ears that have hair cells, which are responsible for hearing, act as sensory neurons. This hair cell was found inside the cochlea. Unfortunately, If these hair cells are damaged or destroyed by the aging process, excessive noise exposure, ototoxic substances (medicine side effects), or poor blood supply, it will result in hearing loss. Most commonly, hearing loss is not curable as these hair cells do not grow back.
- Human ears are active 24 hours a day in the body without taking any rest, but during sleeping time, the brain will not send any information to the ears. That’s why we are not hearing any sounds during the deep sleeping hours.
- Most commonly, children are facing ear infections because of their developing immune systems and differences between their Eustachian tubes (at more of a horizontal angle) than young people.
- If a person faces an ear damage problem, then surely he/she will lose the ability to taste because the nerves called the Chorda Tympani run through the ear and are linked with the taste buds on the front of your tongue to the brain.
- Noise pollution or excessive noise will lead to hearing loss.
People should know the precautionary steps to keep their ears healthy without facing any trouble. But mostly children are facing health issues due to their immunity. Human beings face ear problems caused by a bacterium or virus in the middle ear. This infection also arises due to another illness such as a cold, flu, or allergy—that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages in the nose, throat, and eustachian tubes.
Nowadays, many people listen to songs and movies using headphones and ear pods. This will surely affect the ears health in the future. So, avoiding headphones and ear pods for a long time surely keeps the ears healthy.
Consuming healthy foods will improve your ears health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are essential to healthy ears. These nutrients improve the function of the blood vessels present in the inner ear. Doing head massage regularly will improve brain functions, including ear function.