Middle ear
There are three sections of the ear. They are the external ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The middle ear consists of the ear drum (the tympanum or tympanic membrane) and, beyond it, a cavity. This cavity is connected via a canal (the Eustachian tube) to the pharynx (the nasopharynx). The Eustachian tube permits the gas pressure in the middle ear cavity to adjust to external air pressure (so, as you're descending in a plane, it's the Eustachian tube that opens when your ears "open"). The middle ear cavity also contains a chain of 3 little bones (ossicles) that connect the ear drum to the internal ear. The ossicles are named (not the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, but) the malleus, incus, and stapes. In terms of function, the middle ear communicates with the pharynx, equilibrates with external pressure and transmits the ear drum vibrations to the inner ear.

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middle ear n the intermediate portion of the ear of higher vertebrates consisting typically of a small air-filled membrane-lined chamber in the temporal bone continuous with the nasopharynx through the eustachian tube, separated from the external ear by the tympanic membrane and from the inner ear by fenestrae, and containing a chain of three ossicles that extends from the tympanic membrane to the oval window and transmits vibrations to the inner ear called also tympanic cavity see INCUS, MALLEUS, STAPES

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the part of the ear that consists of an air-filled space within the petrous part of the temporal bone. It is lined with mucous membrane and is connected to the pharynx by the Eustachian tube and to the outer ear by the eardrum (tympanic membrane). Within the middle ear are three bones - the auditory ossicle - which transmit sound vibrations from the outer ear to the inner ear (see labyrinth).

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auris media.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Middle ear — Malleus Tensor Tympani Incus Stapedius …   Wikipedia

  • middle ear — n. the part of the ear including the tympanic membrane and the adjacent cavity containing the three small bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that transmit the vibrations of the tympanic membrane to the inner ear: see EAR1 …   English World dictionary

  • middle ear — n [singular] the part just inside your ear …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • middle ear — noun singular the part of your ear that is between the outer part that you can see and the EARDRUM …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • middle ear — ► NOUN ▪ the air filled central cavity of the ear, behind the eardrum …   English terms dictionary

  • middle ear — noun the main cavity of the ear; between the eardrum and the inner ear • Syn: ↑tympanic cavity, ↑tympanum • Hypernyms: ↑cavity, ↑bodily cavity, ↑cavum • Part Holonyms: ↑audi …   Useful english dictionary

  • middle ear — tympanic cavity the part of the ear that consists of an air filled space within the petrous part of the temporal bone. It is lined with mucous membrane and is connected to the pharynx by the Eustachian tube and to the outer ear by the eardrum… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • middle ear — mid′dle ear′ n. anat. the middle portion of the ear consisting of the eardrum and an air filled chamber lined with mucous membrane that contains the malleus, incus, and stapes • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • middle ear — noun The cavity in the temporal bone between the eardrum and the inner ear that contains the ossicles, and which conveys sound to the cochlea. Syn: auris media, tympanum See Also: inner ear, outer ear …   Wiktionary

  • middle ear — /mɪdl ˈɪə/ (say midl ear) noun the section of the ear recessed into the temporal bone, lying between the inner ear and the eardrum and containing the three ossicles which join them; tympanum …   Australian English dictionary

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