Anatomy
of the ear


Ear anatomy includes three basic parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Problems with any one of the three parts can create hearing loss.

Outer ear anatomy

Part of what professionals call the outer ear is the outwardly visible part of your ear – the part you wear earrings on or cover with earmuffs. There are also parts of the “outer ear” that you can’t see with the naked eye, including your eardrum. The auricle, sometimes called the pinna, is the part of your ear that everybody sees.  It includes your earlobes, where many people like to wear earrings.

Middle ear anatomy

The middle ear is the space between your outer ear – which includes the part of the ear you can see – and the inner ear, which sends sound to the brain. While you can’t see your middle ear, you’ve probably felt it during airplane landings. As the plane descends, unequal pressure on both sides of the eardrum can create a short term sharp pain in the middle ear. Many professionals suggest special breathing exercises to avoid the pain of “airplane ear.”

Inner ear anatomy

The inner ear is invisible from outside your body, but its role in hearing is critical.  This is where cells and nerves process sound and send it to the brain.  A lot of age-related hearing loss takes place in the inner ear, because these important cells and nerves deteriorate with age. The inner ear also helps us keep our balance. The most important parts of the inner ear anatomy are the cochlea and the auditory nerve. 

How the ear works

Devices designed to disappear in your ears

All of our hearing aid technology is designed to be comfortable, durable and beautiful. The devices are designed to disappear, but the controls are always distinct to the touch and easy to operate.
Modern hearing aids
Woman wearing ReSound LiNX 3D hearing aids.