The Nose


The nose allows us to breathe

To breathe well, it is important to preserve the air-conditioning and filtering functions of the nose.

The nose is a VITAL BUT OFTEN NEGLECTED organ, whose importance becomes abundantly clear when it is blocked.

Breathing is a vital function: we cannot stop ourselves from breathing.
We breathe without realising it, and yet this is an act that keeps us alive.
Breathing is the function that draws in air from the atmosphere and supplies it to the lungs. The nose is the outermost extremity of the respiratory tract.

The nose plays a part in our sense of SMELL and TASTE

The mucous membrane lining the upper surface of the nasal fossae contains the nerve endings of the olfactory organs, with some 5 million olfactory receptors. Thanks to their sensitivity, a human being can distinguish approximately 3,000 smells.

What is the mechanism involved?

After entering the nasal fossae, the small molecules disperse into the mucus (a fine liquid coating the mucous membrane of the nasal fossae), then bind to the olfactory receptors. A nerve impulse is triggered. A message is sent to the temporal lobes of the brain by way of the olfactory nerves. As soon as the brain has decoded the information, the smell is perceived.

The nose contributes to the sound of our VOICE

A number of factors play a role in the making of sounds, in vocalisation and speech :

  • Air : source of energy
  • The vocal cords in the larynx: the vibratory organ
  • The tongue and lips : secondary vibratory organs
  • The facial cavities: mouth, pharynx, sinuses and nasal fossae, which amplify and shape the sounds produced by the larynx.

The nasal fossae act as resonating boxes.

The nervous system controls and synchronises all these various factors.

anatomy of nose

The nose plays a role in respiration by acting as an airway


The nose protects our lungs from external impurities:

It warms the air and acts as a fine filter. The nose is an organ unlike any other. Sensitive, fragile; its internal lining, the nasal mucosa, is lined with cilia and fulfils two functions:

  • As an air-conditioner :

The nasal mucosa warms and moistens cold air on its way into the body.

  • As a filter :

The cilia lining the mucosa filter out any substances carried in the air and capture any particles it may carry. When the filtering action of the cilia is insufficient, the cells of the nasal mucosa produce mucus, a sticky liquid that traps any impurities.

By conditioning and filtering the air, the nose acts as the body's first line of defence against external agents that are potentially dangerous to our organism: microbes, pollution, smoke, dust, etc.

If the nasal mucosa dries out, or if the cilia are dirty and clogged, they can no longer efficiently protect us against external agents. This breach in our defences makes us more vulnerable to colds, hinopharyngitis and allergic rhinitis.

15,000 liters of air pass through the nose every day, so the challenge is by no means a minor one!
Regular cleansing of the nose helps to restore the nasal mucosa and thus allows the nose to do its work properly.

healthy nose (LHS) and Blocked and congested nose (RHS)