National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Ear Disorders is the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Your ear has three main parts: outer, middle and inner. You use all of them in hearing. Sound waves come in through your outer ear. They reach your middle ear, where they make your eardrum vibrate. The vibrations are transmitted through three tiny bones, called ossicles, in your middle ear. The vibrations travel to your inner ear, a snail-shaped organ. The inner ear makes the nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. Your brain recognizes them as sounds. The inner ear also controls balance.
A variety of conditions may affect your hearing or balance:
Some ear disorders can result in hearing disorders and deafness.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)