Annoying whistling or rustling in the ears: these are tinnitus. How to recognize and treat them

Sound waves enter the ear and are converted into electrical impulses that “travel” to the brain where they are converted and interpreted.

1 – The incoming sound waves are picked up by the external ear and channeled into the ear canal.
2 – Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate.
3 – The vibrations are amplified by a chain of small bones, the ossicles (hammer, stirrup and anvil), and transmitted to the “oval window” on the cochlea. (continues below the image)

4 – Once in the cochlea, the vibrations induce the movement of tiny nerve ends (stereocilia).
5 – Stereocilia convert movements into electrical signals.
6 – The electrical signals travel along the acoustic nerve until they reach the auditory cortex, in the brain. Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate.


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