The ear is a complicated organ controlling hearing and balance. When sounds waves reach the ear, they are translated into nerve impulses. These impulses then travel to the brain where they are interpreted by the brain as sound.
Review Date 4/13/2020
Updated by: Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.