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What is the purpose of the outer ear?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You ears are great for holding up glasses and providing a nice backdrop for gold earrings. They also let you hear the sweet sounds of Beethoven, the comforting words of a partner, and the newlyweds in the next hotel room.

The outer fleshy part of the ear, in essence, serves as a funnel for sound. It directs and localizes sound (that's actually why we have two ears-so you can determine the direction from where the sound is coming). That allows the sound to enter your ear canal, so your brain can make decisions based on the sounds you hear.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.