The nose is an interesting organ whose small size might make you underestimate its importance. However, it is quite complicated and has several important functions.
Surgical procedures on the nose, called rhinoplasties, correct structural defects or change the shape. Dr. Alidad Arabshahi at Nova Rhinoplasty will ensure that you get the best results from your surgery.
Read on to find out more about this wonderful appendage.
The nose is divided into the external and internal part (nasal cavity). The external part of the nose consists of the nasal root, bridge, and apex. The nasal cavity is the hollow portion inside the nose.
The nasal root is the part of the nose where it is attached to the forehead, in the space between the eyes.
The nasal bridge joins the apex to the root. Its shape varies for different people and there are several surgical procedures to correct or change it.
The apex is the lower extremity of the nose. Just below it are two openings into the nasal cavity, called the nares (nostrils).
Compared to the exterior of the nose, the nasal cavity is quite complex. It is divided into the vestibule and nasal cavity proper.
The vestibule is the frontal part of the cavity and is enclosed by cartilage. It is lined with skin, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. A mucous ridge known as the lumen nasi separates the vestibule from the other parts of the nasal cavity.
The nasal cavity is divided into two parts by the septum. Unlike the vestibule, the nasal cavity is lined with respiratory epithelium and nasal mucosa. At the back of the cavity are two openings called choanae or posterior nostrils, these lead to the nasopharynx (the nasal part of the pharynx), and the rest of the respiratory tract.
Nasal bones and cartilages
There are various bones and cartilages that maintain the shape of the nose, separate it into sections, and guide airflow. The major nasal bones are the maxilla, frontal bone, and several smaller bones. The major cartilages include the septal lateral, minor alar and major alar.
The nose has an intricate network of blood vessels. Blood is supplied to the nose by branches of the external and interior carotid arteries. The external carotid artery supplies blood to the vestibule, the respiratory parts of the cavity, and the exterior parts of the nose.
The internal carotid artery supplies blood to the apex and the surrounding exterior. In the septal region, there’s a point of convergence of four arteries, known as Kiesselbach’s plexus, which is where nosebleeds usually occur.
The nerve supply to the nose is from three cranial nerves. These include the olfactory nerve for detecting smells, the trigeminal nerve for general sensations in the nose, and serous glands to that produce fluids which lubricate the internal structures of the nose.
Functions of the nose
The nose has several important functions apart from being an attractive protrusion from the face. Some of the functions are given below:
One of the major functions of the nose is respiration. It serves as the gateway for air, filtering, moisturizing and warming it before it moves into the rest of the respiratory tract.
Another major function is the sense of smell, (olfaction). Chemicals mixed with air enter the nose and land on olfactory receptors, which are specialized cells that are responsible for the sense of smell.
The nose plays a major role in human speech. The airflow from the lungs can be modified by constriction in the nasal area, in a process known as nasalization. The nose helps in the speech synthesis of various languages.
The human nose, with the right shape, doesn’t only beautify the face but is also able to function better. At Nova Rhinoplasty, we correct various type of nasal defects, whether congenital, from trauma, or for cosmetic purposes.