Structure: Connecting Passageways

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.

Link between the ear, nose, and throat

The eustachian tube connects the ear to the nasal cavity and throat and maintains equal air pressure on both sides of the eardrum.

Internal components of the ear

The ear canal runs from the external ear to the middle and inner ear, which are situated inside the skull.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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