How Do We Hear Sound Through Ear?

The sound is one of the most beautiful forms of energy. It’s probably the first thing we experience in the morning when we wake up – we hear the sound of birds chirping or the alarm clock ringing. Sound fills our usual life with excitement. We hear these sounds through our ears. Let’s learn more about the structure of an ear, how it helps us to hear a sound.


Structure of Ear

A sound produced by objects like drum or alarm clock is carried away from the object to the ears through the air which acts as the medium. The sound produced is in the form of vibration. It first enters in the ears through the funnel-shaped outer part of the ear. It moves down through a canal till the eardrum (thin membrane is stretched tightly). Eardrum plays an important role in the functioning of the ears. The vibrations produced by the objects reaches till the ear drum through the air. These vibrations produced to make the eardrum vibrate.  And then the vibrations are passed to the inner ear through middle ear bones or ossicles. The shape of the inner ear is like a snail. The inner ear is also termed as the cochlea. There are a numerous number of tiny hair cells present inside the cochlea. These hair cells convert the vibrations into electrical signals which are then transferred to the brain through the auditory nerve.  This is how we detect sound or noise.

Human Ear

Perception of Hearing:

In this process, our body changes the sound energy into nerve impulses which are then interpreted by our brain. Each hair cell consists of small stereocilia attached at the top of it. Sound moves the stereocilia back and forth. Stereocilia can be bent or broken if the sound detected is loud. This may lead to dead hair cells due to which no more sound can be transferred to the brain.

The flowchart given below explains how sound is perceived through ears more clearly:

Perception of Hearing

 This article briefly discusses sound and how do we hear sound through ears. To know more about the topic, download BYJU’S – The Learning App.

Practise This Question

Which of the following is a thin membrane-like structure in the ear which starts vibrating on receiving sound waves?