Ear infections aren’t fun. They can make your ears hot, itchy or painful. They can cause lots of pressure or make it harder to hear. Sometimes fluid leaks out of your ear.
I asked my friend Bevan Briggs why that happens. He’s a nurse practitioner and professor at Washington State University.
He told me people usually get outer ear or middle ear infections.
Your outer ear includes the flappy part attached to your head—called the auricle or pinna. It also includes the ear canal. That’s the tunnel that goes into your head. At the end of the ear canal, there’s a thin, flexible barrier of tissue called the eardrum. That’s the boundary between your outer ear and your middle ear.
A hundred years ago, human beings only lived to be about 50 years old. Now people are living longer, so there’s more time for cancer to develop in their bodies. That’s what I learned from my friend David Liu who researches cancer at Washington State University.