All of us like listening to music. What is that enables us to listen to the pleasant music of the musical instruments, the soothing sound of the shores, phone calls with your friend who is at the long distance and more such sounds? This is all possible with our ear. Human Ear enables us to listen to all the sounds in our surroundings. Let us study the ” Human Ear” in detail.
The ear is the human organ that enables us to hear sounds around us. The main function of the ear is to maintain our sense of balance and to detect the various sounds. It helps us to convert the pressure variations into electronic signals that travel through the brain with the auditory nerve.
Important Parts of Ear
Human ear has three parts namely,
- Inner Ear
- Middle Ear
- Outer Ear
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The Outer Ear
Whenever the sound waves enter our ear, they travel across the outer ear. Ear converts audible frequencies into electric signals that travel to the brain. The outer ear is known as pinna and earlobe which is the broad part and has shell-like structure. The compressions reaching the outer ear i.e. the pinna directs the compressions to the canal and makes them reach the eardrum or the membrane. The membrane being flexible separates the middle ear and the outer ear. These compressions are further amplified several times like about 20 times by the three bones inside the ear.
The Middle Ear
Bones are located in the middle part and are linked together to each other. Hammer, the Anvil, and the Stirrup are the three bones which transmit the sound. The center part of the eardrum is connected to the hammer. As the hammer vibrates, it transmits the sound to the other two bones, i.e. to the anvil and stirrup. These bones amplify the sound waves and all this takes place in the middle ear. So what is it that the outer ear does; it brings in the sound waves and further these waves are amplified by middle hear.
The Inner Ear
The inner ear known as Cochlea is a snail-like structure. As the number of variations is transmitted in the middle ear, cochlea sends the sound to the brain as some amount of fluid is present inside the cochlea. These electrical impulses then go to the auditory nerve. This is exactly what we perceive as sound.
Protection of The Human Ear
The audible range for human beings is about 20Hz to 20,000Hz. If any sounds exceed this range, the sound remains undetected, whatever the amplitude may be. Almost every other person uses headphones. These headphones are dangerous as they directly fit into our eardrums. Hence to protect our ears, the volume should not exceed 60%. When you attend concerts step outside the concerts at least for few minutes to bring your ears to rest. Keep your ears dry once you are done bathing and swimming.
Questions For You
1. The vibrations or the pressure variations inside the inner ear are converted into electrical signals by the:
- Tympanic Membrane
Answer: A. Cochlear converts vibrations into electric signals. Hammer, Anvil, and Stirrup are the bones of the ear and they amplify the vibrations.
2. The threshold of audibility for the normal human ear is :
- Maximum intensity of sound audible
- Minimum intensity of sound below which it is inaudible
- The pitch of the sound inaudible
- Pitch of the sound audible
Answer: B. Minimum intensity of sound below which is inaudible is a threshold intensity of the human year.