Arnold’s Nerve

If you’re not yet reading House Call Doctor, this would be a good time to start.  Okay, I admit, it’s one of those things some people listen to instead of read, but I am very happy that reading it is an option since I keep the volume on my computer muted.

I’m a bit behind on my reading, so just came across this bit of information in How Do Doctors Solve Medical Mysteries:

There is a nerve in the ear, called Arnold’s Nerve …. In some people, stimulation of this nerve will make them cough.

A-hah!  I always cough when I clean my ears – so does one of my kids.  Now I know why.

This has nothing at all to do with autoimmunity, but I thought it interesting.
Comments always welcome.

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5 thoughts on “Arnold’s Nerve

  1. Too cool. I love learning facts like this — what makes your body do certain things. I took anatomy and physiology in college and the one thing I really learned was why you have to urinate more when you drink alcohol. I guess I was a motivated student. (Alcohol disables ADH – antidiuretic hormone – which your body uses to reclaim water so you don’t dehydrate yourself.)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I am sorry to burst everyones bubble above but that information is completely WRONG. Arnold’s nerve is a branch of the Vagus nerve found around the ear cannal. The vagus and its remaining branches continue to PASS thru the diaphragm but DO NOT innervate it. The vagus nerve is the tenth out of 12 cranial nerves which innervates many structures in the pharynx and tongue and it passes thru the diaphragm to innervate some specific visceral organs. In the mouth it is responsible for the innervation of the muscles involved in coughing, gaging or even swallowing hence the cough when cleaning out wax. The diaphragm is controlled by the PHRENIC nerve which when stimulated or irritated in some way will give rise to hick ups and not cough. hick ups and cough are totally different from each other and are controlled by two different nerves.

    People, please dont believe everything you read out in the internet. The best information is found when you do your own research and make an educated opinion based on many different websites. I hope i was able to provide you with some clarification to the above false comment.

    • Med Student, you still have a lot to learn.

      1) If you’re going to get all self-righteous in correcting people, it would be a good idea to double-check your spelling.

      2) The information is not “completely WRONG.” Irritating Arnold’s nerve can induce cough, is accurate.

      3) The best information is found when you do your own research and make an educated opinion based on many different websites. Interesting opinion. I disagree.
      For an example of why this is wrong, search for information about the link between vaccines and autism, then form an educated opinion based on many different websites. It’s not enough to look at the number of people/places making a claim. From a scientific standpoint, the quality of of the data must also be considered. From a philosophic standpoint, the truth value of claims is critical. It doesn’t really matter what “everyone” says; what matters is what’s true.

      4) It appears that the simplified explanation I quoted contained a small error. The complete quote is There is a nerve in the ear, called Arnold’s Nerve, which is a branch of the nerve that controls the diaphragm. In some people, stimulation of this nerve will make them cough. Now that you’ve pointed it out, I have removed that portion of the quote which refers to the diaphragm. How interesting that (as of this writing) you haven’t gone to the site I quoted and ranted all over the doctor who made the original statement.

      5) When you take a critical tone with others, it doesn’t much matter whether you’re right or wrong. It comes across poorly. When people are treated graciously, they might be willing to listen to what you have to say. If you continue your training to become a doctor, you ought to consider how you come across to people. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

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