Ear infections are caused by bacteria or viruses in the middle ear. Ear infections occur more often in children than adults. Some causes and contributing factors that lead to ear infections are wax buildup, upper respiratory infections, food allergies, environmental allergies, fetal alcohol syndrome, genetics, nutritional deficiencies and internal injuries. Some common signs that someone is suffering from an ear infection are pain in the ear, tugging at the ear, difficulty sleeping, headache, poor response to sounds, high fever, fluid draining from the ear, vomiting, diarrhea and so on.
The ear is made up of three parts: outer, middle and inner.
Each part has specific functions that help a person hear. You can see in the diagram that the outer ear which shape like a leaf captures the traveling sound waves. In the outer part of our ear, there is a section called as pinna and through this section the sound waves enter into the ear canal. Through the ear canal the sound waves reach the eardrum which is located in the middle part. In addition, the middle section of the ear also has other important ear organs like hammer, anvil, stir up, semicircular, and middle canal. Through the canal, sound waves travel to the inner section of our ear. In the inner part of the ear, there are important ear parts like cochlea, Eustachian tube, and nerves. Sound waves from the canal are sent to the nerves so that the brain can process the sound. After that we are able to recognize the sound and understand it.
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