The ossicular chain is a chain of three small bones located in the middle ear. The bones are the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (stirrup). The ossicular chain connects the tympanic membrane (eardrum) to the oval window, which is a small opening in the cochlea.
The ossicular chain plays an important role in hearing. When sound waves hit the tympanic membrane, it vibrates. These vibrations are then transmitted to the ossicular chain, which amplifies them and transmits them to the oval window. The oval window then vibrates, which causes the fluid in the cochlea to vibrate. This vibration is then converted into electrical signals by the hair cells in the cochlea, and these signals are sent to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
What is the chain of bones in the middle ear called?
The chain of bones in the middle ear is called the ossicular chain. It consists of the malleus, incus, and stapes.
What is the meaning of ossicular?
The word “ossicular” comes from the Latin word “os”, which means “bone”. So, “ossicular” means “pertaining to bones”.
What is the function of ossicles in the ear?
The ossicles in the ear serve to amplify sound waves and transmit them to the inner ear. The malleus and incus amplify the sound waves by transferring them from the tympanic membrane to the stapes, which is connected to the oval window. The stapes then transmit the sound waves to the inner ear, where they are converted into electrical signals by the hair cells.
What happens if you break your ossicles?
If the ossicular chain is broken, it can cause conductive hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the transmission of sound waves from the eardrum to the inner ear. This can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Otitis media: This is an infection of the middle ear that can cause inflammation and fluid buildup.
- Tympanic membrane perforation: This is a hole in the eardrum that can be caused by trauma or infection.
- Ossicular chain fracture: This is a break in one or more of the bones in the ossicular chain.
If you have conductive hearing loss, you may have difficulty hearing soft sounds or sounds in noisy environments. You may also have difficulty understanding speech.
The treatment for conductive hearing loss depends on the underlying cause. If the hearing loss is caused by otitis media, it may be treated with antibiotics. If the hearing loss is caused by a tympanic membrane perforation, it may be treated with surgery to repair the perforation. If the hearing loss is caused by an ossicular chain fracture, it may be treated with surgery to repair the fracture or to replace the ossicles with artificial implants.