The ear itself contains three distinct areas. There is the outer, the middle and the inner ear. Each part works together to create the sound that we hear and that is interpreted by the brain. Let’s take a look at all of the individual components of the outer ear and how it flows into the middle ear.

The outer ear is what is visible on the outside of the head. The outer ear helps in the general hearing of the sounds around us and helps to project sound down into the middle ear which is then sent into the inner ear and onto the brain for us to evaluate and understand the sounds that are around us. The outer ear consists of two main areas: the pinna, or the visible part of the ear, and the external auditory meatus, or ear canal, the EAC. These two parts of the outer ear work together to gather the sound and send it down to the middle ear.

The pinna, the visible part of the outer ear, has a few different parts to it that is all made up of mostly cartilage and skin or integuments this is connected to the head and the rest of the ear through ligaments and muscles. The outside of the pinna is known as the helix, the circular outline of the ear, which leads down to the lobe of the ear. Inside of the helix is the scapha and the fossa triangularis, these are the dips or hollowed out areas just under the rim of the helix.

The ridge that is next to these areas is called the anti-helix as the shape is similar to the that of the helix only it is in the ear and slightly smaller in size but mimics the helix shape. Under the anti-helix is the concha, the bowl of the ear, which directs the sound down into the canal. On either side of the opening of the canal is the tragus, which is on the inner side of the ear closest to the face, and the anti-tragus, which is on the outer side of the ear closest to the lobe.

The pinna area can be further broken down into more direct pieces that make up the outer ear but these are the main parts of the outer ear to know and understand. The ear canal is the small tubular shape that flows down into the middle ear from the pinna carrying the sound down. The ear canal on average is about two centimeters long and has two bends in it. Some canals are shorter and some are longer, just as some people have very distinctive bends and others have fairly straight canals it all depends on the person and how they are made.

The outer ear is the first step in how sounds travels in the ear and how each of the three areas of the ear work together to create the sound that we hear.