Middle Ear

The middle ear is an air-filled cavity in the temporal bone of the skull. The cavity is connected to the nasopharynx by the Eustachian tube; this tube permits equalization of the air pressure in the middle ear with the external atmospheric pressure. The middle ear contains three small bones or oscines: the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup (malleus, incus, and stapes). These ossicles are arranged in a chain from the eardrum to the oval window of the inner ear. The chain of ossicles to the oval window transmits the vibrations generated by a sound wave striking the eardrum. Since the oval window has a much smaller area than the eardrum (about 1/25), the transmission of sound energy from the eardrum to the oval window results in a significant concentration of the energy, with a consequent increase of the amplitude of vibration. Besides transmitting the vibrations from the eardrum to the oval window, the middle ear plays a crucial role in accommodating the ear to very loud sounds. In response to such loud sounds, disclose in the middle ear retract the eardrum and pull the stirrup away from the oval window. This protects the eardrum and the oval window from overloads.
Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url