In order to understand the nature of the ear, nose, throat connection, it is important to understand each element individually. Only through understanding the basic function of the ear, the nose, and the throat will the connection between them be clear. Diagrams and detailed explanations of this connection can help put it all in to perspective as well, allowing exploration of the tiny structures that make up an ear and their connection to the throat and nose.
The ear is an anatomical structure that allows us to hear, and also maintains our balance and sense of place. Sound is captured by the complex folds of our ears, enters the ear canal, and travels down to the ear drum where it sets of a complex reaction resulting in our hearing things in the world around us. While isolating this complex structure might seem to make sense, there is a direct connection between the ear and the throat called the Eustachian tube.
Human throats serve a number of purposes including communication, digestion, and breathing. The direct connection the ears means that a sore throat can end up creating pain in the ears or an ear infection might trickle down into the throat. Among the complex structures, glands, and muscles of the throat are a few muscle that connect the throat to the nose.
Most people can breath through the nose, and this is because the nose using the same passageways as everything else in the throat. This connection is an important anatomical relationship, displayed by our reliance on smell to taste the food that we eat. If our nose couldn’t bypass the throat we wouldn’t be able to breathe while we chewed food or drank liquid. Many important sensory information is linked and understand the system overall is a challenge.
However, it is not uncommon for doctors, researchers, and academics to study the relationship between the ear, nose and throat. In fact, in medicine, the three are a combined specialty. Understanding this system requires scrutiny of many diagrams and communication of concepts related to brain function and sensory input. Luckily, many such diagrams and information is available. The resources listed below will help when trying to understand the ear, nose, throat connection.
- Most images include both thumbnail and full size versions, organized into ear, oral, nose, and voice box photos. Also includes many related videos, including ear nose throat surgery videos.
- Photographs that show infections, infestations, and other conditions related to the outer ear. These photographs can often be enlarged to provide better clarity.
- These photos include those of a normal eardrum, followed by a large collection of benign and serious afflictions. Most of the pictures can be enlarged to provide for easier viewing.
- Photos of infections, growth, and disease affecting the nose and nasal anatomy. Includes internal and external photographs, x-rays, and diagrams.
- Contains many pictures of disease, infection, or cancer found in the oral structures. Many of these images can be enlarged for clarity.
- Substantial image gallery, sorted either by topic or alphabetically. In addition to ear, nose, throat images, this resource also includes some videos and other media.
Ear, Nose, Throat Images
- This is a comprehensive diagram identifying many parts of the ear, nose, and throat. Contains labels for many specific parts and some explanations.
- A small, simplified anatomical diagram, focused mostly on the nose. Also includes some labels for the ear and the throat.
- Black and white image which shows many of the basic parts of the nose and throat anatomical structures. Many labels are simplified to make them easier to understand.
- This image includes labels for the right tympanic membrane, the middle ear, the auditory ossicles, and the ear overall. Includes many medical terms that may require further explanation.
- Image includes labels for the anatomical structure of the middle ear. Though this image is in black and white, it is rather clear and easy to understand.
- Labeled diagram of all of the major parts of the ear, courtesy of Northwestern University. Includes 10 labels ranging from the eardrum to the Eustachian tube.
- Image includes labels for the anterior pillar, the posterior pharyngeal wall, and the tongue. Also includes labels for the hard palate, the soft palate, the uvula, the posterior pillar, and the tonsils.
- A sagittal view of the throat, including labels for most of the major parts. Clearly watermarked, but still useful for major labeling.
- Extremely simple diagram of the human throat that nonetheless shows the relationship of the throat to the nose and ear. The four labels include the epiglottis, the trachea, the pharynx, and the larynx.
- Diagram of the vocal chords, complete with labels of all major anatomical structures. Though this image is small, it is clean and comprehensive.
- Diagram includes labels for the epiglottis, the vocalis muscle, and the hyoid bone. This image is shown in relationship to the trachea.
- This picture shows an exterior view of the ethmoidal, frontal, and maxillary sinuses, as well as the related bones. Image is detailed and clearly labeled.
- Interesting diagrams showing the bones and cartilage making up the nose. This diagram is well labeled with medical terms.
- A hand drawn diagram of the human nasal anatomy, including clear labels. The drawing is well done, and shows the connection to the ear (the Eustachian tube).
- A basic but useful diagram showing some of the readily identifiable elements of the nose and throat. Diagram includes labels for the nostril, hard and soft palates, the tough, the voice box, and the vocal fold.
- Diagram of the nasal anatomy focused on respiratory elements. Includes individual labels for many elements, including the inferior, middle, and superior turbinates.
- A drawing of the nasal anatomy, including muscles and bones. Helpful for identifying the nasal anatomy’s relationship to the throat and ear.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons