Description : An understanding of the basic anatomy of the ear is necessary both for the appreciation of the normal appearances of the ear and the understanding of those disorders of structure and function which result from disease processes.

For anatomical purposes, the ear can be conveniently divided into three parts:
1. the external ear

2. the middle ear

3. the inner ear.
Only the external ear and the tympanic membrane are normally accessible for direct examination, unless the tympanic membrane is perforated or absent, in which case a number of the important middle ear structures may be seen.

The inner ear, which is situated deeply within the temporal bone (Fig. 3.1), houses the end organs of hearing and balance (Fig. 3.2) and cannot be inspected directly.

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