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Facts about ears

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Hearing is an incredibly useful and important sense that many humans and animals rely on in everyday life. Being able to determine sound is integral to survival and safety. Even though humans have minimal hearing in comparison to some other species, our ability to distinguish sounds has made a lasting mark on our societies. For example, horns and alarm bells were created to warn people of danger even from far off distances. On the contrary, music is created as a means of relaxation or even excitement (such as inspiring people to dance at a party) and this is because music delights our ears. Sounds can be pleasant or unpleasant; relaxing or annoying yet the capably to hear is one that we must not take for granted.

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Below are some facts about ears, the vessels to the human hearing system:

• Our ears help us detect sound.

• Ears convert sound waves into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain.

• While your ears pick up the sound, it is your brain that does the hard work of making sense of it all.

• There is much more to the ear than the part you can see on the outside of your head.
• The middle part of the ear (behind the ear drum) amplifies sound pressure.

• The middle ear also contains the Eustachian tube which helps equalize pressure and drain mucus.

• Sounds waves are passed from air to liquid in the inner air. The inner air also contains tiny hair cells which react to sound waves, triggering chemicals that are sent to the brain as nerve impulses.

• Abnormalities in the inner ear of humans can cause deafness.

• Skin glands in the ear canal produce ear wax which helps protect the ear by lubricating it and cleaning it of dirt and dust.

• Ear infections are more common in children because of their developing immune systems and differences between their Eustachian tubes and those of adults.

• The inner ear is found inside the temporal bone, the hardest bone in the human body.

• The inner ear contains the spiral shaped hearing organ called the cochlea as well as the vestibule and semicircular canals which help with balance.

• Excessive ear wax can impair hearing, especially if it is pressed hard against the eardrum.

• Ear wax normally comes out of your ear naturally so it’s not a good idea to try and remove it yourself unless it is causing health problems (best to see your doctor first).

• Piercing earlobes and ornamenting them with jewelry has been common practice around the world for thousands of years for both for cultural and cosmetic reasons.