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Q: Do noses and ears grow throughout your life? ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Do noses and ears grow throughout your life?
Category: Health
Asked by: andrew-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 31 Dec 2002 19:54 PST
Expires: 30 Jan 2003 19:54 PST
Question ID: 135826
My Aunt Meredith insists that your ears and your nose continue to grow
throughout your life.  Is there any truth to this rumor.  Please help
settle this intense debate.
Subject: Re: Do noses and ears grow throughout your life?
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 31 Dec 2002 23:15 PST
Hello, Andrew.

Most of the citations on the Internet which state that the nose and
ears continue to grow throughout life are trivia sites with
collections of "useless factoids" and such. Sites of this type are
highly unreliable; as an example of the nonsense that can be found on
the Web, several months ago I researched a question about sneezes. I
found many trivia sites which claimed that sneezing with your eyes
open will cause your eyeballs to pop out. Similar ridiculous "facts"
are widespread on the 'Net.

At first I had thought that this might be another one of those
"sneezing with your eyes open will make your eyeballs pop out" bits of
misinformation. But my search for data on this subject did turn up
some reputable medical sites which verify Aunt Meredith's claim:

"Bones of the nose & lower jaw continue to grow throughout life."

Troy State University 

"The over-fifty crowd whose noses have gotten bigger or started to
droop as they have gotten older. These patients are living proof that
nose cartilage does continue to grow and change throughout life."

Personal Surgeon

"Only two parts of the human body continue to grow throughout life.
One is the earlobe; the other is the nose."

Perspectives in Nursing

"Ear cartilage continues to grow throughout our lives."
The Medical Consumer's Advocate

"Nonarticular cartilage grows throughout life; eg, the ears and nose
tend to grow larger relative to the face as a person ages."

The Merck Manual of Geriatrics

The most prestigious of these sources is the last site. Merck is a
giant in the field of medical publications, and I think that almost
anyone in the medical field would take Merck as an authoritative
source. So you can believe your Aunt Meredith on this one.

Here are the search terms I used, in varying combinations, in locating
this information:

noses and ears
nose and ears
nonarticular cartilage
non-articular cartilage
continue to grow
continues to grow
throughout life
in adults
in old age

Thanks for asking a truly interesting question! Please do not hesitate
to request clarification if it is needed.

Best wishes for a joyous New Year
Subject: Re: Do noses and ears grow throughout your life?
From: tar_heel_v-ga on 31 Dec 2002 20:20 PST
I have found 100's of references to this, however, none are medical,
so until I find a medical resource that states it is true, I will post
this as a comment.

Useless Facts About the Human Body

Did you know

Subject: Re: Do noses and ears grow throughout your life?
From: feilong-ga on 01 Jan 2003 04:02 PST
Growth is defined as "an increase in size that results from an
increase in the number or size of cells or both."
(Excerpted from Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 8th Edition by
Gerard Tortora and Sandra Grabowski. Published by HarperCollins
College Publishers, (1996)

- Feilong
Subject: Re: Do noses and ears grow throughout your life?
From: jcg-ga on 04 Jan 2003 00:55 PST
Ask any plastic surgeon and they'll tell you that the nose and ears to
continue to grow, and that this is due to their cartilabgenous makeup.
 The degree to which they grow varies greatly from individual to


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