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All About The Inner Ear

The ear is made up of three very different areas that all work together to gather and interpret the sound that we hear around us every day. The inner ear is where all of the magic takes place. Taking what the middle ear has converted into waves from the sound given to it by the outer ear, the inner ear now turns this into electrical pulses that the brain can interpret for us to understand.

Plainly put the inner ear looks like one crazy rollercoaster ride. With three loop-de-loops and a seashell type ending, it would be one crazy ride for sure. But it is what is in the structure that matters the most. The inner ear is a very complicated system that works in creating the sound we hear and sending the proper information off to the brain as well the inner ear maintains our balance. The inner ear consists of two main areas the cochlea, which is the hearing part of the ear and the vestibular system, which is the balance area of the ear. Within these two areas are two further defined structures of the inner ear the bony labyrinth, which is the hard outer structure of the inner ear and the membranous labyrinth, which is the softer area inside of the bony labyrinth inside the inner ear.

The cochlea is where sound is converted into the electrical impulses that will be sent and interpreted by the brain. The cochlea is shaped like a seashell and inside of it are all of the tiny little hairs floating around in liquid waiting for the correct sound to hit them to send of the electrical impulse to the brain. These tiny hairs are very fragile and can be easily damaged over time due to noise or disease. Once damaged these little hairs will never repair or regrow; once the damage is done it is irreversible. The electrical impulses are sent to the brain through the auditory nerve.

The vestibular system looks like three loop-de-loops on a rollercoaster. These canals are strategically placed for balance purposes and are known as the semicircular ducts. There is the anterior, the lateral and the posterior duct each containing a liquid that adjusts and work together to keep a person balanced.

The inner ear can be further broken down, but to be honest it can get kind of confusing. The inner ear is the end of how the ear works and how sound is transferred and interpreted by the ear to the brain of a person. It can be a little bit of an overwhelming process but very interesting to think about the process as a whole and how quickly it is executed.