What Are The Ossicles?

You may not have heard of the ossicles. They are the smallest bones in the body, and are located in the ear. Their job is to conduct the sound vibrations from your eardrum to the inner ear. They amplify the movements using leverage so that the tiny vibrations of the eardrum can be detected by the oval window of the cochlear. Here it is converted into nerve signals which your brain can understand.

 What Are The Ossicles?

What Are The Ossicles?

The ossicles are the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. These names are malleus, incus and stapes in Latin. The stapes is connected to the stapedius which is the smallest muscle in the body.  It acts to brace the ossicles against loud noises, limiting their movement and prevneting damage from loud noises.

The smallest bone in the body is the stapes. It is only about 3 mm long. It's name means stirrup, because it looks just like one. The ossicles are located in the middle ear space. This is a tiny air filled cavity located behind your ear drum. Sometimes it becomes filled with fluid due to infection. This stops the eardrum from vibrating properly, leading to deafness. The formation of pus causes pain due to stretching of the eardrum. Sometimes a doctor will need to insert a grommit if this becomes a recurrent problem. The grommit drains the middle ear space, allowing air in. This drives out moisture and prevents infection.

Dr Toby Bateson For ZenPlugs.com