Friday, June 8, 2012

The tiniest muscle, Stapedius, protects hearing!

In one of my earlier blog posts I had intimated about the smallest bone in our body. Now we shall see here which one is the smallest skeletal muscle. There are two of it, one in each of our two middle ears. It is the Stapedius muscle. Its length is 1.27 mm only!

It supports and prevents collapse of the Stapes bone (our smallest bone in the body) to which it is attached. It maintains the position of it in the chain of middle ear bones, whenever vibrating sound waves are conducted through it into our inner ear. This is how it aids in our hearing.

It also prevents damage to the delicate inner ear by dampening and controlling the amplitude of sudden loud noises that are conducted in this chain of bones. Not only these: it also guards against our own loud voice!
Thus this tiniest wonder muscle Stapedius, plays an important role in protecting and preserving our hearing ability!

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