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projected part of the external ear

external auditory meatus

external passage for sounds collected from the pinna to the tympanum


waxy substance secreted by glands located throughout the external canal

tympanic membrane

eardrum; drum-like structure that receives sounds collected in the external auditory meatus and amplifies it through the middle ear

eustachian tube

tube connected the middle ear to the pharynx

mastoid process

projection of the temporal bone located behind the ear containing air cells that connect to the middle ear


maze; inner ear consisting of bony and membranous labyrinths


coiled tubular structure of the inner ear that contains the organ of Corti




bleeding from the ear


purulent drainage from the ear


a jingling, ringing or buzzing in the ear


a turning round; dizziness

otitis externa

inflammation of the external auditory meatus


inflammation of the eardrum

otitis media

inflammation of the middle ear


hardening of the bony tissues in the ear


inflammation of the mastoid process; most commonly seen as a result of the spread of inflammation and infection in otitis media

acoustic neuroma

benign tumor on the auditory nerve that causes vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss

Meniere disease

disorder of the inner ear due to an excess buildup of endolymphatic causing episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, and hearing; one or both ears can be affected, and attacks vary in frequency and intensity

conductive hearing loss

hearing impairment caused by interference with sound or vibratory energy in the external canal, middle ear, or ossicles

sensorineural hearing loss

hearing impairment caused by lesions or dysfunction of the cochlea or auditory nerve


person who specializes in the study of hearing impairments


use of an otoscope to examine the external acoustic meatus and tympanic membrane


incision into the eardrum, most often for the insertion of a small metal or plastic tube, to keep meatus open, avoiding fluid buildup as that which occurs as a result of otitis media

cochlear implant

electronic device implanted in the cochlea that provides sound perception to patients with severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears


middle part of the inner ear in front of the semicircular canals and behind the cochlea that contains the utricle and saccule

semicircular canals

three canals within the inner ear that contain specialized receptor cells that generate nerve impulses with body movement


condition of absence or malformation of inner ear structures during embryonic development, resulting in hearing loss

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