Why Do Older People Have Big Ears and Noses?

Older people have slightly larger ears and noses than usual. It is possible to see this situation more clearly, especially when you look at the photos of them in their youth years.

Although it is thought that this situation occurs because the ears and nose are always growing organs, the reason is actually different.

Contrary to popular myth, our ears and noses are not always growing organs like our nails.

Instead of “growing”, “expanding in volume” would be a more accurate term. There are three types of cartilage in our body: transparent, elastic and fibrocartilage. The type of cartilage in our ears and nose is elastic and consists of tissues called collagen and elastin.

As we age, the fibers in these elastic tissues break down and slowly begin to sag.

Gravity is the deciding factor here. The tissues that break down over the years, cannot resist gravity and sag and begin to look larger than before. It is thought that these elongated organs grow as a baby grows, whereas the situation consists of sagging caused by gravity. This causes our ears to grow an average of 0.51 mm per year.

Since our cheeks and lips lose volume over the years, the ears and nose appear larger as a result of this. In addition, as we age, various factors such as muscle loss, bone loss, and shortening of length also have an effect on this situation.