How does the ear work?

Understand your hearing

When your hearing is working normally, information is being passed through each section of the ear to your brain. Your brain receives these messages and you will naturally respond.
Our ear is responsible for hearing and balance. Thanks to its mechanism it makes us receive the sound waves transforming them into proper sounds that would make sense to us.

Anatomy of your Ear

There are three parts of the ear anatomy, the outer ear, the middle ear and the cochlea. 

  • The outer ear consists of the pinna and ear canal.
  • The middle ear consists of the ossicles (malleus, incus, stapes) and ear drum.
  • The inner ear consists of the cochlea and the auditory nerve.

Get in touch with us

Come and visit us at one of our Amplifon centers, our hearing care professionals will be ready to answer any of your curiosities about the world of hearing. 

Book your slot today!

Book an appointment

The outer ear

Sound travels in waves through a narrow passageway called the ear canal to the ear drum. The outer ear (pinna) ‘catch’ sound waves and direct them through the ear canal to the protected middle ear. These incoming sound waves cause the ear drum to vibrate. This is where the process of understanding these sound waves begins.

The middle ear

Through these vibrations, imagine the skin on a musical drum vibrating when you strike it, causes the ossicles, a tiny chain of bones (malleus, incus, stapes) move in the middle ear.

The middle ear is connected to the back of the nose and throat by the Eustachian tube. This means that when one yawns or swallows, the Eustachian tube can open to equalise the pressure on both sides the eardrum and prevent the membrane from being damaged.  

When you get a cold/flu the Eustachian tube can become blocked with mucus which can cause a build-up of pressure and temporary hearing impairment or loss as a result.

The inner ear

The last bone in this process taps on the membrane window of the spiral-shaped cochlea, which encourages the fluids in the cochlea to move and in doing so stimulate tiny hair cells on the inner wall of the cochlea. There are over 15,000 of  hair cells and stimulating theses to move triggers electrical nerve impulses that are taken to the brain via the auditory nerve. From here, it's up to their brain to decipher those impulses as recognisable sounds. 

Get support and advice

Request an appointment

Book now

Take an online hearing check

Take the check

Find a clinic near you

Find a clinic