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Oh The Nerve!
Posted by Jennifer Spiller on November 18, 2020
In our clinic, when we’re inserting things into people’s ears (such as foam tips we use during hearing testing, or cotton dams when we make earmold impressions), sometimes it sets off a coughing fit. That’s because there is a very important cranial nerve that connects the brain to the body, called the vagus nerve, that runs very close to the surface of the ear canal. Of course, we’re not all built the same. Some people are more sensitive to stimulation than others, and some may have a bit more room between the nerve and their ear canal. So if you cough when something enters your ear – don’t worry, it’s a normal reaction, but so is not coughing.