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The outer ear consists of the auricle or pinna and the external acoustic meatus. The auricle collects sound waves and directs them to the external acoustic meatus; from there the waves travel through the external auditory canal to the eardrum (tympanic membrane).
The middle ear is separated from the outer ear by the eardrum. It contains the three ossicles, the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (stirrup), so called because of their resemblance to these objects. These three small bones form a chain across the middle ear from the eardrum to the oval window. The stapes causes a membrane in the oval window to vibrate, and the vibrations are transmitted to the inner ear. The middle ear is connected to the nasopharynx by the eustachian tube, through which the air pressure in the middle ear is equalized with the air pressure in the nose and throat. The middle ear is also connected with the cells in the mastoid bone just behind the outer ear. Two muscles attached to the ossicles contract when loud noises strike the tympanic membrane, limiting its vibration and thus protecting it and the inner ear from damage.
The inner ear (or labyrinth) contains the cochlea, as well as the nerves that transmit sound to the brain. It also contains the semicircular canals, which are essential to the sense of equilibrium.
When a sound strikes the ear it causes the tympanic membrane to vibrate. The ossicles function as levers, amplifying the motion of the tympanic membrane, and passing the vibrations on to the cochlea. From there the vestibulocochlear (eighth cranial) nerve transmits the vibrations, translated into nerve impulses, to the auditory center in the brain.
The patient should be instructed to avoid nose blowing, especially after surgery, when there is a possibility that such an action can alter pressure within the ear. Observation of the patient after surgery of the ear includes assessing function of the facial nerve; evidence of dysfunction could include inability to wrinkle the forehead, close the eyes, pucker the lips, or bare the teeth. Any sign of facial nerve damage should be reported to the surgeon. vertigo is another common occurrence after surgery of the ear; it is usually only temporary and will subside as the operative site heals. The patient with vertigo requires special protective measures such as side rails and support when out of bed, so as to avoid falls or other accidental injuries.
Most surgeons prefer that the dressings around the ear not be changed during the immediate postoperative period. Should excessive drainage require more dressings, these can be applied over the basic dressing. Any drainage should be noted and recorded, with excessive drainage reported immediately to the surgeon. (See also care of the patient with hearing loss.)
See also: auricle.
auris/au·ris/ (aw´ris) [L.] ear.
See also: auricle
Synonym(s): auris [TA] .
Patient discussion about auris
Q. Tinnitus (Ringing and Other Ear Noise) Anybody have this problem? Urrrrrrrrrrr, I think I want to shoot myself,you know what I mean. It is worst than the chinese torture. Someone, please send me a good tip how to stop it. I have this for 4 yrs and it is driving me crazy. You cannot enjoy total complete silence. They say silence is golden but not when you have this ringgi in your ears. It gets worst when there is no noise. The only remedy I have is eating hot spicy curry, it helps for 2-3 wks and then it comes back again and then eating spicy food again. Listening to classical music helps to. Oh well.....just have to suck it up.
Q. What causes high pitch ringing in one ear?
Q. my ears do not hear well especially when it's cold. i hear my breath and heart beat. what's my prolem? Denis when i breathe it feels like the breath goes through the ear when the weather is cold or when i do some excercise like jogging