Nasal Cavity: Structure And Function

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Nasal Cavity: Structure And Function
Nasal Cavity: Structure And Function
Video: Nasal Cavity: Structure And Function
Video: Chapter 2: Nasal Anatomy and Function 2023, February

The human nose is actually a paired organ, because there are two nasal cavities, separated from each other by a septum. Each cavity begins with the nostrils, and ends with a connection to the nasopharynx with special openings.

Nasal cavity: structure and function
Nasal cavity: structure and function

The structure of the nasal cavity

Its structure is much more complicated than it seems at first glance. The walls of each of the nasal cavities, the bottom and the roof are quite rigid due to the cartilage, bone and connective tissue of a dense structure. The nasal cavities are divided into two parts: the vestibule (the widened area behind the nostrils) and the respiratory cavity (the slightly narrowed part that goes just behind the vestibule).

The epidermis lining the cavity from the inside contains a large number of hair follicles, sweat and sebaceous glands. The functions of such an epidermis are: cleansing, increasing the humidity and temperature of the air (which is why the skin is permeated with a large number of blood vessels), and the hairs are also able to retain large dust particles when inhaling air.

Functions of the nasal cavity

The inner epithelial surface of the nose is slightly moistened with special mucus produced by goblet cells and glands from the lamina propria. During the day, up to half a liter of such mucus is produced. When dirt or dust particles get into the nasal cavity, they mix with mucus and stick to it, after which, thanks to the cilia, all this composition moves to the oral cavity. The process of cleansing the nasal cavity significantly depends on the condition of the cilia, if they are damaged (from a previous illness or injury), the movement of mucus can be greatly impaired.

In some places, immediately near the vestibule of the nasal cavity, there are lymphatic follicles that perform an immune function. The lamina of the nasal mucosa contains a fairly large number of plasma cells and lymphocytes, and sometimes granular leukocytes are also found. They protect the human body, protecting it from invasions of pathogenic microorganisms, because the nasal cavity often becomes a gateway for various infections.

On the upper part of the walls, as well as the surface of the back of each nasal cavity, there are special cells that make up the organ of smell. There are two olfactory zones - one in each nasal cavity. The mucous membrane in each zone forms a special organ through which a person is able to sense various aromas.

The peculiarity of this sense organ is that the bodies of neurons are located on the surface itself (which makes them quite vulnerable), therefore, if any injury to the nose or the presence of a chronic disease occurs, a person may partially or completely lose their sense of smell. With age, the number of neurons decreases and the ability to distinguish smells gradually loses, as a result of which the elderly may not be able to sense some of the aromas.

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