Everyone knows that the human ear is used for hearing. What they may not realize is that these little portions of the human body serve a variety of additional purposes. They're also extremely interesting, and there's a lot more to them than meets the eye. The following are 5 fascinating facts about the human ears:
They Do More Than Just Hear
School taught most people that the human ears are used for hearing. Well, besides this, the ears are also essential in maintaining balance. Weird as it sounds, the sense of balance in the entire body lies in the ears. This is because of the vestibular system which is located in the inner ear.
It is a sensory system that contributes significantly to the feeling of balance and spatial orientation needed to coordinate movement and balance. It's in charge of maintaining equilibrium. This explains why the majority of people with vertigo are diagnosed with ear issues. It also explains why ear problems frequently result in dizziness.
They are Home to Both the Hardest and Smallest Bone
The human body has 206 bones. Of these, the smallest bone is known as the stirrup bone or the stapes. It is located in the middle part of the human ear. As a matter of fact, 5 others of the smallest bones in the human body are located in the ear, some of which include the malleus and incus.
As if that's not fascinating enough, the hardest bone in the human body is also located in the ears. It is known as the temporal bone and its function is to protect the delicate inner parts of the ear.
They are Workaholics
As the feet, legs, eyes and other body parts rest while sleeping, the ears never stop working. They can never be turned off. Even when sleeping, they are still picking up sound, the only difference being that the brain does not process it as well as when one is awake. These small parts of the body are workaholics!
Ears are Self-Cleaning
Since they work all round the clock, it's not surprising that they clean themselves as well! The ear produces cerumen, which is commonly known as earwax. As one moves their jaws when chewing or talking, the ear wax is used to collect dead skin cells, sweat and oil and move them outwards. Notably, earwax also forms a barrier inside the ear canal to trap any dirt from the outer part of the ears. Other people, however, have more earwax than necessary. This excess wax may get hard and block the ear. It can accidentally be pushed deeper into the ear and may even cause severe blockage. Luckily, you'll often be able to get rid of the excess earwax yourself using an ear wax removal syringe kit or ear washers.
Food Plays an Important Role in Ear Function
Certain foods are important to certain parts of our bodies. For example, we have carrots containing amounts of Vitamin A that are good for eyesight. While for the ears, there are also foods that can help maintain their function. Broccoli is full of folic acid that can help delay hearing loss. It also has Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and fibre that can help protect your ear. Bananas are also essential for ear health as they contain magnesium that helps expand the vessels and improve circulation in your ear.
Medical Disclaimer: Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material provided here is solely for educational purposes.