The human ear is an advanced and very sensitive organ of the human body. The ear’s function is to transmit and transduce sound to the brain through the parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Here are some interesting facts about your ears and how we hear.
The human ear functions even when we are sleeping. Our ears will continue to pick up sound but our brain may block or tune out certain sounds.
- There are two types of ear lobes; attached and free. Free lobes are a variant where the lobe hangs freely from the head while the attached variant is joined to the head. Free lobes are twice as common in humans as the attached lobes.
- Our ear canal is all skin and ends at the tympanic membrane or ear drum.
- Our middle ear which is air filled, houses the three smallest bones in our body? These three bones are called malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrups). The stapes is the smallest of these three bones.
- While your ears pick up the sound, it is your brain that does the hard work of making sense of it all and processes the information.
- The cerumen or earwax inside your ears is made up of a combination of oils, sweat glands and dead skin cells. Earwax forms a barrier inside your ear canal and it helps to keep your ears clean. The earwax is sticky by design so it will trap debris and particles and protect your ears.
- There are tiny hairs in the ear canal which are known as cilia. Cilia are responsible for pushing the wax out.
- The inner ear or cochlea which is fluid filled, is the innermost part of the ear, and is about the size of a pea. It looks similar to a snail shell, and if unraveled would be a mini-tube about 31.5mm long.
- The ear has over 25,000 tiny hair cells to help you hear.
- Excessive noise is the number one reason for hearing loss.