Pinna

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While some people will misguidedly tell you that their specific ear piercing is a "pinna piercing", all ear piercings are pinna piercings. The ear is made up of three elements -- the pinna or auricle (the outer ear) which captures sound, the auditory canal which passes sound from the pinna inward as well as protecting the inner ear, and finally the eardrum which converts the sound to nerve impulses.

Again, the "pinna" is the entire outer ear. Every bit of ear that you can see on the outside of your head is the pinna. It is absolutely not the name of a specific piercing.

That said, I think it's important to note that the pinna serves a few important purposes, and one must realize that some piercings can and will interfere with its ability to do these things:

  1. The pinna collects sound, amplifies it, and directs it into the ear.
  2. The pinna's shape filters the frequencies you hear to enhance the sounds into the range of human speech.
  3. The pinna's shape adds frequency filtering that helps your brain decode directional information in sound.

So, just be aware that your outer ear does a lot more than just provide a convenient place to hang your jewelry from. Drastically changing the shape of the pinna may result in hearing loss or changes in sound discrimination.

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