We must breathe to live. Although we can also breathe through the mouth, nasal breathing is the physiological one. The nose, which is the first organ of the respiratory system, ensures that the air is suitable for the lower respiratory tract, thanks to its very special structure.

What are the Structure and Functions of the Nose?

Heating, humidifying and filtering the breathing air can only be possible with nasal breathing. Structures called conchae in the nose are very rich in blood supply. Thanks to the extensive vascular network they contain, the air passing around the turbinates reaches body temperature until it reaches the nasal region. Nasal secretion called mucus is produced in special cells in the turbinates. Thanks to the warmth of the turbinates and mucus, a moist environment is created in the nose. Dust particles in the air passing through the nose and some microorganisms stick to the mucus. In this way, the air going to the lungs becomes clean and moist.

Our nose has 3 important tasks during breathing: heating, humidifying and filtering the air. During the processing of breathing air in this way, our nose also gets cold, dry and polluted. The nasal cavity, which is cooled, dried and polluted at a certain level, gets tired. This is perceived by the central nervous system through nerve connections. The nasal cavity, which is tired through the reflex pathways, is put to rest and the other nasal cavity becomes more active. Thus, although we continue to breathe through the nose without interruption, in reality one nasal cavity is clogged – it has gone into a resting period, while the other nasal cavity is in working condition. This cycle, which consists of the sequential operation of the nasal cavities, is called the nasal cycle (nasal cycle).

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