Hearing is one of our five major senses. While it’s easy to take for granted, hearing is actually a complex process involving both the ears and the brain.
The ear is comprised of three sections leading to the brain: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The outer ear contains the ear canal and eardrum. Sound enters the ear canal, strikes the eardrum, and causes it to vibrate. These vibrations, in turn, cause the neighboring ossicles – a trio of small bones located in the space behind the eardrum – to vibrate. Like a chain reaction, this causes movement of fluid in the inner ear. The fluid pushes against tiny hair cells, which change the vibrations into electrical signals that are transmitted from the inner ear and through the auditory nerve to the brain. These signals are interpreted by the brain as sound.