Most people have five senses when they’re born and these are: sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. As you know, your ears are the part of your body that help you hear all types of sounds and noises, which they process and send to your brain as signals to interpret. So today we’re going to give you an earful about your ears, how they work and their various parts! The ear is made up of three tiny bones called ossicles and these are: the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrup). It also has three different areas called the outer, middle and inner ear.
The pinna is the outer ear that catches sound, which is collected by the ear canal (where all that yucky ear wax is!), the sound waves then move onto the middle ear, which converts them into vibrations that are passed onto the inner ear. When a sound reaches the eardrum, it begins to vibrate and the ossicles start to move. The movement of the ossicles helps the sound to travel from the middle ear to the inner ear, moving into another part called the cochlea. The cochlea is a small, curled tube in the inner ear that is filled with liquid, this liquid is set in motion when the ossicles vibrate!
Tiny hairs that are found within the cochlea are stirred into movement by the sound vibrations and these stimulate nerve signals, which finally pass the message onto your brain to interpret! Although they have the ability to work individually your ears also work in pairs, which explains why someone with one blocked ear can’t hear things as well as someone with two healthy ears!
Inquiry – Digging Deeper
Did you know that your ears are also responsible for balance and being able to walk upright without falling over? Check out the video below for more information on how the ear affects your balance system: