The ears and their accessory structures are receptor organs that enable us to hear and maintain balance. Each ear consists of three divisions: the external ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The external and middle ear conduct sound waves through the ear. The inner ear contains auditory structures that receive sound waves and transmit them to the brain for interpretation. The inner ear also contains specialized receptors that maintain balance and equilibrium in response to fluctuations in body position and motion.
The ear can be divided into three anatomical sections: external, middle, and inner. The external ear includes the (1) auricle, which directs sound waves to the (2) ear canal. Eventually, the sound waves hit the (3) tympanic membrane (eardrum) and make the eardrum vibrate. Transmission of sound waves ultimately generates impulses that are transmitted to and interpreted by the brain as sound. Label Figure Ear structures as you learn about the ear.
Swimmer’s ear, resulting from an infection transmitted in the water of a swimming pool, may cause severe ot/o/dynia orot/algia The CFs tympan/o and myring/o refer to the tympanic membrane (eardrum). Tympan/itisis an inflammation of the tympanic membrane, oreardrum
The tympan/ic membrane is stretched across the end of the ear canal and vibrates when sound waves strike it. The CFs for the tympanic membrane (eardrum) aretympan/o andmyring/o
Vibrations of the tympanic membrane are transmitted to the three auditory bones in the middle ear: the (4) malleus, the (5) incus,and the (6) stapes. The (7) eustachian (auditory) tube leads from the middleear to the nasopharynx and permits air to enter or leave the middle ear cavity. Label and review the position of the middle ear structures in Figure Ear structures.
The eustachian tube equalizes air pressure in the middle ear with that of the outside atmosphere. Air pressure must be equalized for the eardrum to vibrate properly.
Components of the inner ear include the (8) cochlea for hearing, the (9) semicircular canals for equilibrium, and the (10) vestibule, which is a chamber that joins the cochlea and semicircular canals. Label inner ear structures in Figure Ear structures.
The inner ear, also called the labyrinth, consists of complicated, mazelike structures, all of which contain the functional organs for hearing and equilibrium. (See Figure The labyrinths of the inner ear with arrows in the cochlea that indicate the path of vibrations.)
Ot/o/sclerosis is a hereditary condition of unknown cause in which irregular ossification occurs in the ossicles of the middle ear, especially of the stapes, causing hearing loss. Chronic progressive deafness, especially for low tones, may be caused by a hereditary condition called ot/o/sclerosis
A patient diagnosed with ot /o /scler /osis may have hearing restored with a surgical procedure called staped/ ectomy. To improve hearing, especially in cases of ot /o /scler /osis, the surgeon may excise the stapes using a surgical procedure called staped/ ectomy
The labyrinths of the inner ear with arrows in the cochlea that indicate the path of vibrations.
Ot/itis media, infection of the middle ear, usually occurs following upper respiratory infection (URI). Upon ot/o/scopy, redness and stiffness of the tympanic membrane is observed, indicating inflammation. The abbreviation for upper respiratory infection is URI
Ot/itis media caused by bacteria is commonly treated with antibiotics. When the condition persists and becomes chronic, a myring/o/tomymay be required. During this surgical procedure, a pressure-equalizing (PE) tube is inserted into the eardrum to relieve pressure and promote drainage. (See Figure Placement of pressure-equalizing (PE) tubes.)
Placement of pressure-equalizing (PE) tubes
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