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It consists of 3 parts: 1. External ear. 2. Middle ear (tympanic cavity). 3. Internal ear (labyrinth).

1- External ear:

It includes: I. The auricle. II. The external acoustic meatus. meatus.

I. Auricle (ear pinna): pinna):

It is formed of elastic cartilage covered on both side by skin. skin. Its function is to collect the sound waves into the external acoustic meatus. meatus. A branch of vagus nerve supplies the skin of the auricle near the external acoustic meatus. meatus.

II. The external acoustic meatus: meatus:

This is the canal between the auricle and the tympanic membrane. The lateral third is cartilaginous while its medial two-thirds are bony. This twomeatus has S-shaped curve with 2 constrictions: S1. At the junction between the lateral third and medial two thirds. 2. In the bony part (medial 2/3) 5 mm from the tympanic membrane. This constriction is called isthmus.

II. The external acoustic meatus: meatus:

The external auditory meatus is covered with thin skin which is attached firmly to the underlying part The subcutaneous tissues of the cartilaginous part (lateral third) are rich in seruminous glands which secrete serumin (ear wax). wax). The bottom of the meatus is formed of the tympanic membrane (ear drum). It lies obliquely.

Tympanic membrane: membrane:

It separates the external ear from the middle ear. It is composed of: 1. pars flaccida 2. pars tensa. tensa. The pars tensa forms the great part of the tympanic membrane, it is more tight and strong than the pars flaccida. flaccida. When examined by autoscope or direct light the anteroinferior part of the membrane appears bright, forming what is called cone of light.

Tympanic membrane:

The membrane is formed by 3 layers: 1. Outer layer: Formed by skin. 2. Middle layer: Formed of fibrous tissue containing the handle of malleus and chorda tympani nerve (branch from the facial nerve). 3. Inner layer: Formed of mucous membrane. A branch of vagus nerve supplies the outer surface of the membrane, while the inner surface is supplied by the glossopharyngeal nerve.

2- Middle ear

It is a small cavity in the temporal bone in the skull. It lies medial (inner aspect) to the tympanic membrane and lateral to the inner ear. It has six walls.

Relation of the middle ear: ear:

Medial wall: t is related to the facial canal, the ovale window covered with the foot process of the stapes, the cochlea & the round window. Lateral wall: Related to the tympanic membrane Roof: Formed by the tegmen tympani of the temporal bone

Relation of the middle ear:

Floor: Related to the jugular bulb (bulb of the internal jugular vein) & tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve. Anterior wall (carotid wall): related to the internal carotid artery,auditory tube and canal of tensor tympani muscle. Posterior wall (mastoid wall): Related to facial canal, stapeduis muscle, aditus to mastoid antrum. antrum.

The middle ear is connected to the nasopharynx by the auditory tube, so it contains air. It contains also small mobile bones called ear ossicles, which transmit the ossicles, sound vibrations from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear.

3-Internal ear (labyrinth) (labyrinth)

It is formed of: 1. Bony labyrinth. 2. Membranous labyrinth.

Bony labyrinth

Formed of: 1. Vestibule. 2. Cochlea: like a small shell, formed of 2 3/4 turns. 3/ 3. Semicircular canals: 3 in number, placed at different directions.

Membranous labyrinth: labyrinth:

It is in the form of membranous sac inside the bony labyrinth. This sac is filled with endolymph. Outside the sac lies the perilymph between the sac and the endolymph. bony labyrinth. It is composed of: 1. Utricle. 2. Saccule. Saccule. 3. Semicircular ducts. 4. Cochlear duct: containing the receptors of hearing (organ of Corti). Corti).