Eustachian tube anatomy, artwork

Eustachian tube anatomy, artwork

C018/0302 Rights Managed

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eustachian tube anatomy. Artwork of the anatomy of the human Eustachian tube in its normal closed state (main artwork) and in an open state (inset, upper right). The Eustachian tubes (one for each ear) run from the middle ear to the throat. They are also called the auditory tube or pharyngotympanic tube. They allow drainage of fluids such as mucus, and pressure equalising. Methods of equalising pressure (called 'clearing the ears', white arrows) include yawning and swallowing. If pressure is not equalised, the result can be a burst ear drum. The ear drum is at centre in the main artwork, with the inner ear (ear bones, semi-circular canals, and cochlea) above and to its right.

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