Ear anatomy

Location of outer, middle, and inner ear, with detail of middle ear behind eardrum showing bones of middle ear and one end of eustachian tube.

The ear consists of the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.

The outer ear is the part that can be seen at the side of the head, along with the ear canal and the eardrum.

The middle ear is behind the eardrum. It contains the bones of the middle ear, called the malleus, incus, and stapes. These bones are also known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. The eustachian tube connects the middle ear and an area in back of the nose.

The inner ear contains the cochlea, which is the main sensory organ of hearing.

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine