How Hearing Works

The hearing pathway is divided into three sections

  1. The Outer Ear which consists of the pinna, the ear canal and the eardrum
  2. The Middle Ear which consists of an air filled cavity containing the Ossicles, which are three small bones, the malleus, incus and stapes; and
  3. The Inner Ear which consists of the cochlear – a bony spiral filled with special fluids and lined with tiny hair cells that connect to nerve endings.
  • Sound waves travel along the ear canal and hit the eardrum, which transmits the vibrations to the Ossicles.
  • The last of these bones, the Stapes, passes on these vibrations to the Cochlea.
  • In the cochlea, the cochlear fluid is set in motion. The tiny hair cells in the cochlear translate the movement into electrical signals.
  • These are carried along the auditory nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.