Anatomy of the Ear: My New Earphones

ear phonesThis past Christmas my wife was kind enough to give me a pair of high end ear phones. It is great to get a functional gift that gets constant use. One of the qualities of good ear phones is how much the sounds of the outside world are blocked. How much of the world can you cut out to better listen to your music? It turns out, a lot. And as it turns outI don’t know as much about the anatomy of the ear as I would like.

The earphones came with a two different kinds of buds in three different sizes. The first ones I tried are this weird space age material (bottom corner of the picture) that sort of molds to the inside of the ear. This felt fine on the right side but on the left, I think in some connection to my Bell’s Palsy, the sound cuts out when I swallow or move in certain ways. It was disturbing and freaky. I don’t know what made that happen either. Did swallowing engage a muscle that closed around the space age polymer wedged into my ear?

So I switched to a more traditional ear bud but soon found that I needed different sizes for the left and right side. I need a smaller one on the right. The larger one fell out with any slight movement of my head.

The asymmetries of the body amaze me as I search in vain for symmetry. Experiencing both the general differences in my two ears and the differences engendered by what Bell’s Palsy has wrought is both interesting and annoying. Interesting in that I love every amazing thing about the body, and annoying because I love every amazing thing about the body and compulsion is a pain in the neck. And now I have to add the anatomy of the ear to my list of things to learn.

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Sunday Morning Music: Hans Chew and the Boys
Saturday Morning Musical: Starstruck

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