Ears and Hearing

Sounds go into my ears.

Inside my ear, sounds hit an eardrum.

Nerves tell my brain about the sound.

My brain tells me what I am hearing.

There are three parts to the ear: the outer, the middle and the inner.

The outer ear
Sounds travel in waves through the air and into our ears. Inside the ears, the sound waves move along short tunnels which are about 25 millimetres long. There is wax in the tunnels which helps keep the ear clean. The sound waves reach a thin layer of skin called the eardrum and it vibrates.

The middle ear
Behind the eardrum is the middle ear, where there are three tiny bones, the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. These bones vibrate when the eardrum does. This makes liquid and hairs in the next part of the ear, the inner ear, move.

The inner ear
The liquid and hairs are in a curled tube called the cochlea
(say cock-lee-uh). Messages about the vibrations move along nerves to the brain. The brain tells you what the sound is. As well as hearing, the inner ear helps us keep our balance. The liquid in the inner ear swirls about when you move. Nerves in the inner ear tell your brain which way you are moving, and this helps you to keep your balance.

Deaf people can't hear. A hearing aid can help them to hear. A bionic ear is a special hearing aid which is put inside the deaf person's head.

Go here for an interactive tour of the ear: http://www.theearfound.com/anatomy.html

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Ears and hearing (2001). [Online],Available:www.kidcyber.com.au

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