Earsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-earsBB-enHD-AR1.jpgHearing may be the ears' main job, but it's not all they do. Learn all about the ears in this Body Basics article.ears, hearing, hear, hearing loss, body basics, Meniere's, anatomy, ear, deaf, eardrum, ear drum, middle ear, outer ear, inner ear, ear canal, cochlea, ossicles, ear bones, injury, rupture, ruptured, injuries, balance, vestibular, nerve, auditory, brain, sound, noise, ear infection, semicircular canals, eustachian tube, pop, ear ache, earache, listen, vibration, wave05/13/201112/17/201912/17/2019Larissa Hirsch, MD40f0c600-fea3-4ef8-b1cd-dabddd2e014ahttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ears.html/<h3>What Are Ears and What Do They Do?</h3> <p>The ear is made up of three different sections that work together to collect sounds and send them to the brain: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.</p> <div class="rs_skip rs_preserve"><!-- TinyMCE Fix --> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/video/kh-video-metadata.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/video/kh-video-controller.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/video/single-how-the-ear-works-en.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </div> <h4>The Outer Ear</h4> <p>The outer ear is made up of the pinna &mdash; also called the auricle (OR-ih-kul)&nbsp;&mdash; and the ear canal. The pinna is the part of the ear you see on the side of your head and is made of tough cartilage covered by skin. Its main job is to gather sounds and funnel them to the ear canal, which is the pathway that leads to the middle ear. Glands in the skin lining the ear canal produce earwax, which protects the canal by cleaning out dirt and helping to prevent infections.</p> <h4>The Middle Ear</h4> <p>The middle ear is an air-filled cavity that turns sound waves into vibrations and delivers them to the inner ear. The middle ear is separated from the outer ear by the eardrum, or tympanic membrane, a thin piece of tissue stretched tight across the ear canal. Sounds hit the eardrum, causing it to move.</p> <p>This movement leads to vibrations of three very small bones in the middle ear known as the ossicles (AH-sih-kuls)<span style="font-size: 1em;">. The ossicles are:</span></p> <ul> <li>the malleus (MAH-lee-us) ("hammer"), which is attached to the eardrum</li> <li>the incus (IN-kus) ("anvil"), which is attached to the malleus</li> <li>the stapes (STAY-peez) ("stirrup"), which is attached to the incus and is the smallest bone in the body</li> </ul> <p>To hear properly, the pressure on both sides of your eardrum must be equal. When you go up or down in elevation, the air pressure changes and you may feel a popping sensation as your ears adjust. Ears adjust thanks to the narrow Eustachian (yoo-STAY-she-en) tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose and acts as a sort of pressure valve, so the pressure stays balanced on both sides of the eardrum.</p> <h4>The Inner Ear</h4> <p>The vibrations from the middle ear change into nerve signals in the inner ear. The inner ear includes the cochlea (KOH-klee-uh) and the semicircular canals.The snail-shaped cochlea changes the vibrations from the middle ear into nerve signals. These signals travel to the brain along the cochlear nerve, also known as the auditory nerve.</p> <p>The semicircular canals look like three tiny, connected tubes. It's their job to help you balance. The canals are filled with fluid and lined with tiny hairs. When your head moves, the fluid in the canals sloshes around, moving the hairs. The hairs send this position information as signals through the vestibular nerve to your brain. The brain interprets these signals and sends messages to the muscles that help keep you balanced.</p> <p>When you spin around and stop, the reason you feel dizzy is because the fluid in your semicircular canals continues to slosh around for awhile, giving your brain the idea that you're still spinning even when you aren't. When the fluid stops moving, the dizziness goes away.</p> <p>The cochlear nerve, which is attached to the cochlea and sends sound information to the brain, and the vestibular (veh-STIB-yuh-ler)&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">nerve, which carries balance information from the semicircular canals to the brain, together make up the vestibulocochlear (vess-tib-yuh-lo-KOH-klee-er)</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;nerve.</span></p> <h3>How Can I Keep My Child's Ears Healthy?</h3> <p>Teach kids not to stick things like cotton swabs and fingernails into ears. Doing so can scratch the ear canal, push <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/earwax.html/">earwax</a> deeper into the ear, and even <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eardrums.html/">rupture the eardrum</a>. If your child is bothered by earwax, talk to your doctor.</p> <p>Teach kids to protect their hearing by paying attention to the noise levels they're exposed to. Have them turn down the volume on video games, TVs, and, especially, portable music players. Make sure they take hearing protection (like earplugs or protective earmuffs/headphones) when they'll be around&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">loud noises (at a concert, car race, etc.).</span></p> <p>If your child has any trouble hearing, reach out to your doctor.&nbsp;Treating hearing loss early can limit the damage.</p>El oídoEl oído consta de tres partes diferentes, que funcionan conjuntamente para captar sonidos y transmitírselos al cerebro: el oído externo, el oído medio y el oído interno. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/ears-esp.html/cfb67d8f-9495-42a8-8f38-1c6b615a9356
Balance DisordersMost kids stumble and fall from time to time, but a child who continually loses his or her balance might have a balance disorder.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/balance-disorders.html/cdc73db6-2d41-4f39-8fa7-0505e222aaf9
Can Chronic Ear Infections Cause Long-Term Hearing Loss?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ears-hearing.html/f1d4a512-3215-4d14-a0c1-0b0e90660ff6
Can Loud Music Hurt My Ears?Loud music can cause temporary and permanent hearing loss. Learn how to protect your ears so you won't be saying, "Huh? What did you say?"https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/rock-music.html/4f1d6c6d-b485-4f3c-8755-268031bd53b3
Cochlear ImplantsCochlear implant can help many kids with severe hearing loss. Find out how they work and who can get them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cochlear.html/6531199f-f9a3-4dac-8918-c35c9ccdb9a0
Dealing With EarwaxEarwax helps protect the eardrum and fight infection. Parents shouldn't attempt to remove earwax at home, as doing so risks damage to the ear canal and, possibly, a child's hearing.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/earwax.html/951981fb-6281-41be-8563-200c9d3d6c87
Ear InjuriesEar injuries not only can affect a child's hearing, but sense of balance too. That's because our ears also help keep us steady on our feet.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ear-injuries.html/6fc83c4f-3990-4df7-8894-4bc49079f617
EarbudsEarbuds are basically a tiny pair of speakers that go inside the ears. They're fine at low volumes, but they can cause permanent hearing loss if not used properly. Find out what's safe (and not) in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/earbuds.html/4a49d64c-29fe-4aa2-b7da-780d6c8ba685
Eardrum InjuriesA "popped" eardrum is more than just painful - it can sometimes lead to hearing loss. Learn about ruptured eardrums and how to prevent them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eardrums.html/e40e1551-dc7a-461d-b6ef-94c5c366a477
EarsHearing is their main job, but it's not all your ears do. Find out all about them in this body basics article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/ears.html/0e069e5b-afbe-4a02-91fb-cf89eac5a427
First Aid: EarachesAn earache requires a visit to the doctor's office. Here's what to do if your child complains of ear pain.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/earaches-sheet.html/c807a9b3-43a8-4e9c-b132-9c8d95d121a7
Hearing AidsWant to hear what's being said to you, by you, and about you? Find out how hearing aids help people with certain types of hearing loss.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hearing-aids.html/4d02d0e0-6657-4f93-9dd5-62447c4a7847
Hearing Evaluation in ChildrenHearing problems can be overcome if they're caught early, so it's important to get your child's hearing screened early and checked regularly.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hear.html/f867639c-fb49-46cc-a897-8386816dad97
Hearing ImpairmentHearing impairment occurs when there's a problem with or damage to one or more parts of the ear. Find out its causes and what can be done to help correct it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hearing-impairment.html/66d2cedf-4bea-4da5-b6f2-62fd222fd246
How Will I Know if My Child Has Trouble Hearing?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/trouble-hearing.html/d6fa01cc-b141-47a1-ae0a-5319e6ec7e4c
How the Ears Work (Video)The ears gather sounds from our environment and turn them into messages for the brain to decode. Learn more in this video about the ears. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ears-video.html/7c3d7a77-13d5-4f22-82b4-59abb8cbe688
Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)Ear infections are common among kids and, often, painful. Find out what causes them and how they're treated.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/otitis-media.html/e9397262-2aa6-4c43-b09e-1ce26c2ae7da
Movie: EarsNurb and Chloe explain what goes on inside your ears so you can hear. Watch the How the Body Works movie!https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/ears-movie.html/c87353a7-6dbc-40cd-934b-b9e93971c4f6
Ototoxicity (Ear Poisoning)Ototoxicity is when a person develops hearing or balance problems. Learn about this side effect of taking certain medicines.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ototoxicity.html/a495c00c-5970-4639-84ac-11dd44f374b6
Swimmer's EarYou swam! You splashed! And now you have it: swimmer's ear.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/swimmers-ear.html/7b0baae5-7667-4ef4-a45c-f759da0d0885
Swimmer's Ear (External Otitis)Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal that can be caused by different types of bacteria or fungi. Find out how to prevent or treat it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/swimmers-ear.html/e85e0f78-f168-471d-a08a-650ff72eb191
Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal caused by many types of bacteria or fungi. Find out how to prevent it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/swimmer-ear.html/da79a667-8579-45a4-bb16-268bfd4c4005
Taking Care of Your EarsHow do you take care of your ears? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/ear-care.html/9bc04e54-3fe6-452c-8d9f-989c34ec781e
What Is an Ear Infection?A middle ear infection happens when germs like bacteria and viruses get in your middle ear and cause trouble. Read this article to find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/ear-infection.html/86a8006f-2941-43ac-b7fa-3ff5dba7527c
What's Cauliflower Ear?Have you ever seen someone whose ear looks bumpy and lumpy? It could be cauliflower ear! Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/cauliflower-ear.html/92589556-f720-4593-85e6-bd02d85b1ae4
What's Earwax?Why do our ears make earwax? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/earwax.html/3d67bbd9-cd08-4fda-854f-abff1d1c67a8
What's Hearing Loss?Hearing loss happens when there is a problem with the ear, nerves connected to the ear, or the part of the brain that controls hearing. Someone who has hearing loss may be able to hear some sounds or nothing at all. To learn more, read this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/hearing-impairment.html/9a3276cb-c032-4e30-8c12-a349f4d911f7
Your EarsNow hear this! Here's an article about ears. Find out how your amazing ears do their amazing job.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/ears.html/0f4e16f5-a934-4961-a1b7-12e8f53619f4
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-otolaryngologyEarNoseThroatkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-otolaryngologyEarNoseThroatBody Basicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/general/body-basics/3113dcac-be5e-44dd-842b-232a50bfd496Ears, Nose, Throat/Speech & Hearinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/ears/8749295b-10fa-4ce8-91f9-befbe3b41833Ear Infectionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/infections/ear/d3a7b17b-0c4c-4545-99d6-78e826d4ada6Your Kid's Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throathttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/general/eyes/c81bb59e-8661-45ce-9654-17cc18bcf50bBody Basics: Cerebral Palsyhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cerebralpalsy-center/cp-bb/2d58aab5-7b9d-45d2-bb45-49f5c3613e1b