Definition: The hearing and equilibrium system of the body. It consists of three parts: the EXTERNAL EAR, the MIDDLE EAR, and the INNER EAR. Sound waves are transmitted through this organ where vibration is transduced to nerve signals that pass through the ACOUSTIC NERVE to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. The inner ear also contains the vestibular organ that maintains equilibrium by transducing signals to the VESTIBULAR NERVE.
general only or unspecified; prefer EAR, EXTERNAL or EAR, MIDDLE or EAR, INNER; /abnorm permitted but note EAR DEFORMITIES, ACQUIRED; /surg: consider also OTOLOGIC SURGICAL PROCEDURES; ear acupuncture or otopuncture or auriculoacupuncture (acupunct ther
consider also terms at OTI- and OTO-