How We Hear


The Outer Ear consists of the pinna and the outer ear canal. Soundwaves are channeled into the ear canal by the pinna and then move down the canal to the eardrum, which then vibrates.

The Middle Ear consists of the eardrum and 3 small bones, the Malleus, the Incus and the Stapes. Vibrations from the eardrum are picked up by these bones and transmitted to the inner ear. There is a tube that rises from the top of the throat region to the base of the middle ear, which is called the Eustachian Tube. This tube keeps the air pressure in the Middle Ear normal and facilitates drainage of any Middle Ear fluid.

The Inner Ear consists of 2 sections, the Vestibular (balance) System and the Cochlea (hearing) System. In the Cochlea, the mechanical vibrations from the Middle Ear are converted into electrical impulses. These are then sent to the brain via the Auditory Nerve so that we can hear.

Copyright Macarthur Audiology and Hearing Services 2011