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How Do We Hear?

Outer Ear

Sound travels from the external environment down the ear canal to the ear drum.

A diagram of the ear with labels on it.

Middle Ear

Sounds from the outer ear vibrate the ear drum, which in turn causes the bones of the middle ear, malleus, incus and stapes, to vibrate. Stapes, also know as ‘anvil’ due to its appearance, vibrates a part of the cochlea known as the oval window, setting cochlear fluids into motion.

A diagram of the inside of an egg.

Inner Ear

Once cochlear fluids are in motion, small structures called hair cells, are responsible for turning the mechanical sound signal from the external environment into an electrical signal which transmits the information from the cochlea to the auditory nerve. There are two kinds of hair cells: outer hair cells, and inner hair cells. These cells are frequency specific, in that they are specialized to ‘hear’ or transmit certain frequencies at extremely soft volumes

A picture of the inside of an ear.


Once the signal moves up the auditory nerve, it transmits through the brain stem up to the auditory cortex in the brain, where sound is processed into something meaningful.

Auditory pathway from the receptors in the organ of corti of the inner ear to the brain vector

    Contact us for your first consultation!

    Contact info

    Toronto Hearing Health Clinic is located in the lower level of the Magenta Health Centre next to Phipps Bakery, inside the Momentum Building

    There is ample complimentary street parking and a Green P (location ID 047) on 125 Burnaby Blvd, behind the Starbucks and Summerhill Market. Please use the code ‘crosstown’ in the Green P Parking App for up to 2 hours of free parking

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    Manage by Adil Shehzad