If you think your ears are there only to let you hear, then you are completely wrong, my friend. It is essential to let you know the fact that your ear is the organ of both balance and hearing. And that’s the reason your ears are vital for controlling both balance and position sense along with hearing. To know more about your ears, it is crucial to have a piece of in-depth knowledge on the structure belong to the inner ear.
Well, your ear is basically divided into 3 different parts – the outer ear, the middle, and the inner ear. And, it is the structure and function of the inner ear of today’s topic.
If you make a search on the search box of the search engines like, you will get lots of results showing a detailed description regarding the inner ear. However, almost all of them will give you information that is hard-to-understand as all of them use biological and scientific terms.
To make it more convenient for you, I have come up with a comprehensive discussion on the structures belong to the inner ear, where I have tried to explain every essential term in an easy-to-understand way.
Without making any further delay, let’s dive into the discussion on our today’s topic – the inner ear….
Which of the Following Structures Belong to the Inner Ear?
The Inner Ear
First of all, let me aware you of the fact that the term ‘inner ear’ has different other names such as the auris interna, internal ear, and labyrinth of the ear.
The inner ear refers to the innermost section of the vertebrate ear. For your information, your inner ear is primarily responsible for balance and sound detection. The bony labyrinth – known as a cavity in your temporal bone – is mainly divided into 3 different sections – the vestibule, the cochlea, and the semicircular canals.Simultaneously, with your bony labyrinth, there is a membranous labyrinth, which again is divided into 3 different sections – the semicircular ducts: 2 saclike structures, the utricle and the saccule (located in the vestibule), and the cochlear duct (only part of your inner ear responsible for hearing).
What Does the Inner Ear Do?
This is crucial for you to understand if you really want to gather a clear understanding of the inner ear.
When the vibrations created from the eardrum transmit to your oval window, at that time, the sound waves gradually complete their journey by reaching the internal ear. In this case, it is essential for you to know that all the parts of the inner ear play a significant role in your balance and hearing purposes.
Structure and Function of the Inner Ear
Your inner ear has a close connection with your temporal bone. This particular section of your ear has 3 different parts – the cochlea, the semicircular canals, and the vestibule. Among these 3 different parts, the section named cochlea is primarily responsible for the hearing purpose. And, the other two parts are responsible for controlling the balance and equilibrium.
The neural signals created from the inner ear regions are then transmitted to your brainstem through the fiber bundles. In this case, the vestibulocochlear curve and the cranial nerve VIII run together.
In the cochlea section, both the cochlear duct and the bony labyrinth are placed in a coil-like shape that exhibits the resemblance of a snail shell.
There is a connection between the inner ear and the middle ear, known as the oval window. This is basically a membranous area placed at the entrance section of the cochlea (snail-shaped shell). As I have already mentioned, the vibrations of the inner ear mainly transmit through the ossicles and then pass through the cochlea across the oval window.
Then again, the cochlea section consists of 3 different chambers, and all of them are separated from one another because of the membranes.
According to American explorer Daniel Boone, and world-famous white hunter Philip Hope Percival, earplugs play a great role in preventing hearing loss and providing a clear sound.
However, you need to have a clear knowledge of how to wear soft foam earplugs in order to get the maximum benefits of such hearing protection equipment.
Apart from hearing purpose, the inner ear is also responsible for encrypting information of the equilibrium (meaning the sense of balance). And, this is done in the semicircular canals and the vestibule. These are the structures that are very often referred to be the vestibular apparatus.
In this case, one very important thing you need to keep in mind is that several kinds of sensory receptors are there to pass information to your brain to maintain equilibrium (indicating the balance to be more precise).
There are primarily 2 types of equilibrium –
- Static Equilibrium.
- Dynamic Equilibrium.
For your convenience, I will also try to give a brief explanation about these 2 equilibrium types in the following sections.
The first thing in this case you need to know is the information for the static equilibrium and the dynamic equilibrium (linear acceleration) arises from the saccule and the utricle with your vestibule. Each of the utricle and saccule contain a specific sense organ known as the macula. And, it is the place where the stereocilia and the supporting cells can be found.
The semicircular canals have a 3 ring-like extension shape arising from the vestibule. And, they are mostly responsible for the dynamic equilibrium. Among those 3 rings, one ring is placed in the horizontal plane and the other two are positioned in the vertical plane.
The Middle Ear
Your middle ear is nothing but an air-filled space where there are 3 tiny bones (called the ossicles).
These 3 tiny bones are known as –
- The malleus (hammer).
- Stapes (stirrup).
It is sound wave that makes it vibrate when those waves reach the tympanic membrane.
The Outer Ear
As the name suggests, the outer ear is the external section of your ear. This part of your ear has 2 sections known as the ear lobe and the pinna.
The pinna is basically a shell-like section of the external ear. It is made of skin and cartilage. The main job of this section is to direct the sound waves from the external side to the auditory canal of your ear canal.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
1. How Do We Hear?
Answer: Hearing mainly starts from the external or outer ear.
Whenever a sound is created outside the outer ear, at that time, the vibrations or the sound waves pass through the external auditory canal and then make a strike on the eardrum. This causes a vibration in the eardrum. This vibration is then converted into sound, which you hear through the inner ear.
This is all about the discussion on the structures belong to the inner ear.
I am pretty much sure that you have come to know everything about the structures and functions of the inner ear. Also, I have made a short description of the middle ear and the outer ear.
Still, if you want to know more about inner ears, just give me a message or comment below.
I would be glad to help you out.
This is all for today.
See You Soon!
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