The stapedius (7 in the image on the left) is the smallest muscle in the human body. This is not a very well-known human ear fact. The stapedius is a tiny strip of tissue situated in the middle ear. It has the purpose of limiting the movement of the eardrum and ossicles (tiny bones within the ear). When relaxed it allows full movement of the drum and increases the perception of quiet sounds. The muscle tenses if the ear is exposed to a loud noise. This could be a bomb exploding, or the individual themselves shouting. This reduces the level of vibration caused to the structures within the ear. This provides protection from harm. Without it irreversible damage may occur. Strong vibrations can transfer energy to the delicate sensory structures. When you talk, you may notice the dampening of the sound. Try speaking when there is ambient noise around you to notice the effect.
Most of us will have experienced some degree of noise induced hearing loss or tinnitus. This may have been after visiting a loud party or music venue, such as a club or festival. If you have, you will have noticed that the effects are temporary. Repeated severe exposure can lead to permanent damage. The stapedius may protect against some such damage.
Noise induced hearing loss can be a problem for motorcyclists and vintage car drivers. The wind and the noise of passing traffic can make a lot of noise. This can cause irreversible hearing damage if earplugs are not used. Molded earplugs, such as ZenPlugs, are ideal for preventing this problem. They offer a superb level of comfort and last for years. They also include a powerful antibacterial material called Steritouch. This is effective in the fight against each and every ear infection causing bacterium. The incredible degree of comfort and the individual fit they provide is unique. The plugs are also ideal for use whilst sleeping, studying and during water sports. They are also a prevention against both surfer's and swimmer's ear.
Our plugs are far easier to find and harder to losI as they are joined on a cord. This makes them the perfect choice for surfers, clubbers and swimmers. The cord can be tightly tied to the zip extension of the wetsuiI. This means that they can be found if they come out during a large wave.
By the way, the largest muscle in the body is the sartorius muscle. This is situated in the leg. It runs from the pelvis to the knee and works to externally rotate the leg and flex the knee. This puts you into a seated cross-legged position. The muscle is named after tailors. This is due to the traditional cross-legged seated position that they apparently assume.