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Otitis Media(Ear Infection) IN CHILDREN
The ear consists of three major parts:
- The outer ear
- The middle ear
- The inner ear.
The outer ear includes the pinna (the visible part of the ear) and the ear canal. The tympanic membrane (eardrum) separates the outer ear from the middle ear.
The middle ear is an air-filled space that contains 3 tiny bones- the malleus, incus and stapes, which transmit sound from the middle ear to the inner ear. The middle ear is connected to the back of the nose and upper throat by the Eustachian tube. This tube ventilates the ear and equalizes the air pressure in the middle ear to the outside air pressure.
The inner ear contains the hearing (cochlea) and balance (labyrinth) organs. The auditory nerve connects the cochlea to the brain.
In a healthy ear, sound waves striking the eardrum send vibrations through the 3 tiny bones in the middle ear. Movement of these bones transmits sound waves across the middle ear to the cochlea of the inner ear. In the cochlea, sound is transformed into nerve impulses that travel to the brain. In this manner, sound is perceived.
Last updated on 23-02-2001
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