Anatomy of the Ear

There are three parts of the ear that all work together to allow us to hear. These parts are called the outer, middle, and inner ears.

Middle Ear

The components of the Middle Ear are:

  • Tympanic Membrane
  • Ossicles
  • Eustachian Tube

The job of the Tympanic Membrane, or eardrum, is to amplify sound waves. Once a sound wave hits the tympanic membrane, it is amplified by small vibrations of the eardrum. The ossicular chain is the connection of the ossicles (malleus “hammer”, incus “anvil”, and stapes “stirrup”). The malleus is attached to the tympanic membrane and moves simultaneously with the membrane. As the mallues moves, so to does the incus and stapes. As the stapes moves, it allows for fluid movement in the cochlea (inner ear).

The Eustachian Tube allows for normal middle ear pressure. It also helps to drain fluid from the middle ear cavity into the throat. If one end of the Eustachian Tube is closed when it should be open, this allows for a build-up of pressure behind the tympanic membrane.