- 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.
* * *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
* * *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).
* * *auris media.
Medical dictionary. 2011.