The ear is a fascinating and complicated system. The system is composed of three basic areas. The outer ear includes the “ear-flap” or pinna, the ear canal and the eardrum. The middle ear includes an air cavity that is vented to the throat and three tiny bones. The inner ear is made up of the organ of balance and the hearing organ, or the cochlea.
The ear canal has a layer of skin covering from the eardrum to the outer ear. This skin migrates out of the canal and brings wax and debris out of the ear. An accumulation of skin, wax, and other debris can sometimes cause problems with your hearing.
The eardrum is a sensitive multi-layered piece of skin that transmits vibrations to the tiny bones in the middle ear. Holes in the eardrum, scarring, or other abnormalities can negatively effect your ability to hear.
The three smallest bones in your body pass sound to the inner ear with great efficiency. Fixation or interruption from normal movement of these bones can cause your hearing to be diminished.
The inner ear is filled with fluid. This fluid stimulates the tiny hair cells. Nerve fibers pass information to the brain through the eighth nerve. Damage to the hair cells, nerve pathways or the brain can all create problems with hearing and understanding.