Head & Neck

11 Strange and Freaky Facts About Ears, Noses, and Throats – Halloween Edition

written by Becki Andrus

Your ears, nose, and throat are not only essential facial points that shape your overall appearance, but these parts of the body play a critical role in life functions. When it comes to your health, an experienced ENT will tell you that there is more than meets the eye!

Interesting Facts About Ears, Noses, and Throats

With Halloween quickly approaching, we decided to share some strange and freaky facts about ears, noses, and throats. Some of these things might SPOOK you to know what is happening behind the scenes! Our goal in sharing these interesting facts is to help you see how incredible the body is, so you don’t take it for granted.

Fact #1 – Earwax Production Goes Up When You Are Stressed

Not only do you feel frazzled from an overly-busy schedule, but stress can also impact the production of wax in your ears. Earwax serves an important purpose in protecting the ear canal against fungi, bacteria, insects, and water. The ongoing secretion of this sticky substance is important to lubricate and clean the ears. Earwax consists of a combination of cerumen secretions, mixed with hair and dead skin cells.

Fact #2 –Your Nose is a Built-In Humidifier

The nose acts as the main route for breathing. In addition to bringing the air into your body, the nose helps to prepare the air for the throat and lungs. The lungs don’t tolerate dry air very well. So, as the inhaled air moves through the nose, the secretions in the nasal cavities help to humidify and moisturize the air. If your throat is feeling dry, try breathing through the nose instead of your mouth.

Fact #3 –4 Cups of Snot Per Day

Did you know that the nose can produce about 1 liter (4 cups) of mucous every day? It might be gross to think about filling a liter container of nose mucus each day, but it plays an important role in protecting your health. Production of this mucus is important to warm the air you are breathing, moisten the air, and keep dangerous compounds out of your body. Mucus can trap particles such as germs, dust, pollen, dirt, and more.

Fact #4 –Millions of Olfactory Receptor Cells

It is estimated that the average human nose contains more than 12 million olfactory receptor cells. These cells play an important role, such as helping you enjoy the sweet scent of the chocolate you grabbed from your child’s Halloween stash. At the same time, highly receptive olfactory cells can leave you cringing at the smell of a stinky diaper or garbage that needs to be taken to the curb.

Fact #5 –The Smallest Bones in the Body are Located in the Ears

Your ears allow you to hear many sounds, both loud and quiet. Your hearing functions in part because of the tiny bones and tissues located within the ear canal. The malleus, stapes, and incus are the smallest bones in the body, and they are all located in the ear. These three bones are small enough to be placed on a penny simultaneously.

Fact #6 – Nose Connection to the Memory Center of the Brain

Your nose is connected to the limbic system, which means that your smell has a direct impact on the memory center of your brain. This connection is the reason why the smell of baking bread can flood memories of your childhood home, or certain perfume scents remind you of a friend.

Fact #7 -Adults Don’t Need Adenoids and Tonsils

In the childhood years, tonsils and adenoids play an important role in protecting against infections. But these small patches of tissue serve little use in adulthood. By age 5, the adenoids start to shrink, and they are almost completely gone by the teenage years. Repeated infections of the tonsils and adenoids can result in ear infections, fluid buildup in the ear, and even a blockage of the airways. Since the tonsils and adenoids aren’t needed later in life, sometimes they are removed by an experienced ENT specialist to alleviate chronic illness and infection.

Fact #8 -The Ears Affect Balance

Hearing is the most obvious function of the ears. But did you know that the ears also play a role in balance as well? People with chronic dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance issues should talk to an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Frisco about the underlying cause of these symptoms.

Fact #9 -The Shape of Your Nose Affects the Sound of Your Voice

The sound of speaking and singing happen due to the resonance of the structures in the nose and throat. Everyone has a slightly different quality to their voice based on how the air passes through the throat and nose. If too little or too much air is moving through your nose, then it can impact the way you speak… which is why a person’s voice changes when they have a head cold or talk with their nose plugged.

Fact #10 -Nose Growth Through Childhood

For most people, the nose is done growing by the age of 19. Childhood growth affects the shape and size of the nose. Even though growth is finished by adulthood, the nose can continue to change shape with age. For example, time can affect the way the nose lengthens and droops, which is why older people seem to have bigger noses.

Fact #11 -Sneezing Style is Genetic

Have you noticed that the sounds of a sneeze vary from one person to the next? Some sneezes are tiny squeaks, similar to a mouse. Other people have booming sneezes that resonate and fill the room with noise. While every person is unique, it has been found that the sneezing style is shaped by genetics.

Talk to a Local ENT Specialist in Frisco

If you have questions about your ears, nose, or throat, then you shouldn’t feel spooked or scared about scheduling an appointment with an ENT specialist. Our experienced team at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is here to answer your questions and help you maintain optimal health and wellness. Reach out to us any time to schedule an appointment.

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