The ear is divided into two parts for the purpose of hearing namely
Conductive apparatus which consists of an extended ear, tympanic membrane and a chain of hearing bones (middle ear). Perceiving apparatus which consists of the cochlea, the hearing nerve and its connections to the brain.
Functions of ear
- The external ear consists of the Pinna and the external canal. Pinna collects the sound waves and the external canal conducts them to the middle ear.
- The sound waves hit the ear drum and set it into vibration thereby transmitting the sound waves to the inner ear via the chain of three bones situated in the middle ear. Apart from hearing, the ear serves as an important end organ in the balance mechanisms as it is connected to the cerebellum along with the other end organs like joints, tendons, muscles, skin and eyes.
Ear ache, deafness, discharge, noises in ear (tinnitus), giddiness, vertigo. The other associated complaints may be headache, vomiting, facial asymmetry and convulsions, which generally suggest an internal complication secondary to ear disease.
Common ear conditions in clinical practice
A few conditions like wax, fungus, discharging ears due to tympanic membrane perforations because of decay of mastoid bone and glue ear are some of the frequently encountered entities.