Medtronic
Medtronic Medtronic
Medtronic
Meniett device restores balance in the ear anatomy.
Medtronic
Medtronic
 Ménière's Disease
Choose a link to learn more

Symptoms and Causes

Treatment Options

The Ear Anatomy

The Meniett Device

Focus on Ménière's Disease

Email this page

Contact Medtronic
Medtronic Medtronic
Your Ear: An Amazing Hearing and Balance System

The ear is an amazingly complex and sensitive organ of the body. Its two primary functions are hearing and balance. Sound is collected and amplified by the outer ear and middle ear. The inner ear converts sound waves to signals or messages that are sent to the brain via the hearing and balance nerve. In addition, the inner ear is responsible for maintaining the body's orientation and sense of balance. Signals regarding your head and body positions are transmitted to your brain via the hearing and balance nerve, allowing you to maintain your balance.

Your ear is divided into three parts:

Meniett device restores balance in the ear anatomy.

A -- Outer ear: the external, visible portion of the ear and the ear canal.

B -- Middle ear: the eardrum and three small bones (malleus, incus, and stapes).

C -- Inner ear: the cochlea (hearing canal), endolymphatic sac, semicircular canals (balance canals), and the hearing and balance nerve.

How We Hear

Sound has to pass through all three parts of the ear in order for you to hear.

  1. The outer ear and ear canal collect sound waves and guide them to the eardrum, causing the eardrum to vibrate.
  2. The vibration of the eardrum vibrates the three tiny bones of the middle ear, conducting the sound waves to the cochlea (hearing canal) in the inner ear.
  3. The sound waves cause movement of fluid in the cochlea, stimulating thousands of tiny, delicate hearing cells (hair cells) inside the cochlea to sway back and forth.
  4. These hair cells are connected to tiny nerve fibers that join together to make up the hearing nerve. As the tiny hair cells move, they initiate electrical impulses that travel along the nerve fibers and auditory nerve to the brain. The brain compares the electrical impulses it receives to the sounds that it "knows", gives meaning to the sound, and we hear.


Home About Medtronic