Ear Nose & Throat

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice - William Shakespeare

Ear Nose & Throat

image by: ENT UK


The human ear, nose and throat tract is very interesting and sometimes an enigma. There are many cool things the human body does and experiences in terms of the ear, nose and throat tract.

Here are some fun facts:

1. Approximately 20,000 liters of air pass through the average adult’s nose every single day.

2. Humans have about 12 million olfactory receptor cells, but that number decreases with age.

3. The nose contributes to how we perceive taste. Your brain perceives the singular sensation of flavor as a combination of a food’s actual taste, smell, and texture. Additionally, the openings of your nasal passages contain the cells that perceive smell. These cells then relay information to the mouth by way of what is called olfactory referral. ENTs will also help with smell and taste disorders.

4. As you age your nose will continue to grow. While it will reach its main shape by age 19, the nose will continuously change over your lifetime. It will especially lengthen and droop as time goes on.

5. The nose produces one whole liter of mucus each day. Due to Post Nasal Drip, you end up swallowing almost all of the mucus produced.

6. Earwax has been useful to anthropologists for studying mankind’s early migratory patterns. Depending one which region people traveled to, or lived in, they either had dry earwax that they produced, or wet earwax.

7. Humans can detect more than 10,000 scents. The human nose has about 400 types of scent receptors that can detect nearly 1 trillion different odors.

8. Your nose is connected to your memory center. Olfaction, also known as smell, is directly connected to the limbic system. The limbic system is the part of the brain thought to be responsible for the attribution of emotions to events. Do you ever think of something and then can essentially smell the memory?

9. Earwax production is increased when you are stressed or scared. The glands in the ear that help to secrete wax are a class of glands called the apocrine glands. These glands are also responsible for your smelliest sweat. Just as stress can make you sweat more, it can produce an increase in your earwax production.

10. Not all living creatures hear with ears. Snakes use jawbones, fish respond to pressure changes, and male mosquitoes use antennae. Animals all have an ear, nose and tract system that is specific to what they need to survive.

Source: Excerpt from Weird Facts About the Ears, Nose and Throat, ENTA Blog, September 18, 2019.

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Last Updated : Wednesday, February 26, 2020