Although the ears may appear to be isolated structures, they are directly linked to the nose and throat. The visible part of the ear, the pinna, is connected to the ear canal, which ends at the eardrum. Beyond this membrane lies the middle ear, an air-filled space connected to the back of the nasal cavity and to the throat by a channel called the eustachian tube. This tube ensures that the air pressure is the same on both sides of the eardrum. The structures of the inner ear lie deep within the skull and contain the sensory organs for sound and balance.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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