The sense of smell is one sense that most of us truly value. Thanks to our nose, we are able to follow the fragrance of the flowers or the delicious freshly-baked cookies. Our nose does not only affect our sense of smell, but it also affects how we taste foods. It also plays a big role in our facial features and can even dictate beauty. More importantly, it is the main gate for breathing or respiration, as the whole process of the respiratory system starts with the nose.
The two holes that are found in our nose are called the nostrils. The nostrils are where the air enters the body through inhalation. There is a wall separating the nostrils and the nasal passages which is called the septum. This part of the nose is composed of some pieces of bones which are very thin. This is located deep inside of the nose and close to our skull. The part of the septum that is close to the tip of our nose is composed of cartilage. It is a flexible material which is firmer compared to the skin or muscle. The cartilage makes the nose flexible as it is not as hard as the bones and you can feel how wiggly it is when you try to push the tip of your nose.
The nasal cavity is another part which is located at the middle of our face and behind the nose. This connects the nose to the back of our throats. The palate or the roof of our mouth separates the nasal cavity from the inside of our mouth. The respiration process begins with the inhalation of air through the nostrils going to the nasal passages. The air then travels to the nasal cavity and into the back of the throat going into the windpipe or the trachea. The air is filtered from foreign objects by the cilias that are found in the trachea, and this air goes to the lungs.
The old air in the lungs also goes out of the nose, which is what we call exhalation. When we inhale air, the next process is to exhale the old air from our lungs so it can accommodate the air that we breathe in. Aside from the nose being the entrance and passageway for air, it also makes sure that the air we breathe is warm, moistened and filtered before it enters the lungs. This is all thanks to the mucous membrane that is found on the insides of our nose. The hair on our nose also protects the lungs by trapping dirt and other large particles and foreign objects from going into the lungs.
We know that something is trapped in the airway when we cough. And if something is trapped in our nose, we sneeze. This is our body’s way of sending out the unwelcomed particles from getting into our lungs. You will also know that the air we breathe is dirty if we get more snot and boogers in our nose.