Physical Fitness and Well-Being and Ear Care Part 2

About physical fitness, medical information, trivia, anatomy, well-being and care of your ears.

TAKING A PHYSICAL--HEAD TO TOE

EARS

The sympathetic relationship between your inner ears and your muscles accounts for why you become unable to keep your feet on the ground when you're dizzy.

Vertigo, that sense of not knowing which end is up, is caused when your brain receives too many signals at once, some of which may seem contradictory. Remember that signals from your ears, your eyes, and your muscles are all involved in this balancing process.

That moment of confusion, or dizziness, when you suddenly accelerate or slow down is caused by the movement of otoconia, or, in plain English, ear dust, inside your ear.

Ear dust is actually crystallized bone material, which more or less floats around in your inner ear. When you make a sudden movement, the dust takes a moment to catch up. In the meantime, it presses on nerve ends in the opposite direction from your line of movement.

Stand on your head and your ear dust settles down on what is normally the top of your ear channels. Lie down and it settles toward the back.

The range of human hearing is from approximately 20 cycles per second up to about 16,000 cycles per second. To give you an idea of what this means, consider the following. The human voice can make sounds from 100 to 6,000 cycles per second; a pipe organ, from 10 to 8,000; a grasshopper, from 7,000 to nearly 100,000; and bats, from 5 to well over 100,000.

We don't, obviously, hear everything there is to hear, at least not with any fidelity. Even parts of birds' songs are lost to us.

Ever wonder why your own voice sounds different to you on a tape recorder than it does when you're just talking?

The reason is that when you talk, your voice resonates through your body. This resonance through flesh and bone is quite different from the resonance through air which other people hear when you speak.

But let's not forget the outer ears, those irregular circles of flesh found on either side of our head. In addition to channeling sound waves to the inner ears, they are also considered by some to be erogenous zones, and by others to be fine places for hanging personal adornments.

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