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How Hearing Works

Our sense of hearing is the most complex system in our entire body.

Sound waves enter the ear canal and impact the ear drum (tympanic membrane). After the ear drum picks up the sound, it transmits sound wave vibrations through the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus), and stirrup (stapes). The hammer, anvil, and stirrup make up the chain of three (3) middle ear bones. The stirrup passes the vibrations to the inner ear fluids within the cochlea. Fluid waves travel through two and a half (2½) turns of the cochlea, bending the cochlea hair cells as it goes by. The hair cells correspond to the frequency of the original sound waves, initiating signals within their corresponding nerve endings prior to sending them to the brain.

1.Sounds enter the ear canal and travel to the eardrum.
2.These sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, setting the bones in the middle ear into motion.
3.This motion is converted into electric impulses by tiny hair cells inside the inner ear (cochlea).
4.These impulses are sent to the brain, where they are perceived by the listener as sound.

 



Dallas Ear Insittute

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