Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders

Law Topics >  Injuries > Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders

The ear, which is comprised of outer, middle, and inner portions, is responsible for hearing and balance. The outer ear captures sound waves that are then converted into mechanical energy by the middle ear. The inner ear is responsible for converting the mechanical energy into nerve impulses that travel to the brain. The inner ear is also responsible for maintaining balance.

The nose, made up of bone and cartilage, serves several important roles including facilitating the sense of smell and functioning as a primary passageway of air into and out of the lungs. The nose also gives resonance to the voice. The paranasal sinuses and tear ducts drain into the nose.

The throat, which is also called the pharynx, is comprised of the nasopharynx, the oropharynx, and the hypopharynx. The throat is located behind the mouth, above the esophagus and trachea, and below the nasal cavity. Food is carried through the throat's muscular passageway to the esophagus. In addition, air is carried through the throat to the lungs.