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Anatomy of the cranial base
Anatomy of the external and middle ear
Anatomy of the eye
Anatomy of the infratemporal fossa
Anatomy of the inner ear
Anatomy of the nose and paranasal sinuses
Anatomy of the oral cavity
Anatomy of the orbit
Anatomy of the pterygopalatine (sphenopalatine) fossa
Anatomy of the salivary glands
Anatomy of the temporomandibular joint and muscles of mastication
Anatomy of the tongue
Bones of the cranium
Muscles of the face and scalp
Nerves and vessels of the face and scalp
Anatomy clinical correlates: Ear
Anatomy clinical correlates: Eye
Anatomy clinical correlates: Skull, face and scalp
Anatomy clinical correlates: Temporal regions, oral cavity and nose
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The ear is made up of three parts: the external, middle, and inner ear. Together, these structures help process air vibrations as sound, and this helps us enjoy our favourite music, as well as alert us of potential threats. Now, while the inner ear also plays a role in balance, the main role of the external and middle ear is to transfer and amplify sound to the inner ear with the help of the three smallest bones in the body: the auditory ossicles.
Let’s start with the external ear, which is by far the most common anatomical spot to hang earrings from. The external ear is actually a complex structure made of the auricle, also called the pinna; and the external acoustic meatus.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the auricle, which is the part of the external ear that surrounds the opening of the external acoustic meatus, and funnels soundwaves towards the external acoustic meatus. It is made of irregularly shaped cartilage covered with skin. The elevated outer rim of the auricle is the helix. The smaller elevated rim parallel to the helix is called the antihelix. The depression in the middle of the auricle is called the concha. Right next to the concha, there’s the opening of the external acoustic meatus. Inferior to the concha, there’s the lobule of the auricle. And finally, anterior to the opening, there’s an elevation called the tragus.
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