The ability to hear naturally is a complex and wondrous thing. To achieve sharp hearing acuity and understanding, each individual part in the process must function normally: Outer Ear, Middle Ear, and the Inner Ear.
The Outer Ear includes the external ear and the ear canal. Sound signals travel from the natural environment into the ear canal and ultimately to the eardrum itself. The natural resonance of the ear canal functions to boost high frequency sounds which are critical to speech understanding.
Included in the Middle Ear are the eardrum and three tiny ear bones called the Ossicles: the Malleous, Incus and the Stapes. These ossicles are often called the hammer, anvil and stirrup. The ossicles boost the mechanical energy from the vibrating eardrum and transfers it into the Inner Ear through the Cochlea’s Oval Window.
Tiny hair cells within the cochlear receive the sound signal and convert the vibrations into electrical energy, which then travels up the Auditory Nerve and into the brain, where the electrical signal from the cochlea, which can then be interpreted and understood. The harmonious concert of each element within the outer, middle and inner ear are necessary to complete the sense of hearing.