Anatomy of the Human Nose

Anatomy of the Human Nose

The nose is one of the five senses that humans have. Thanks to this organ, humans can recognize various kinds of aromas, such as fragrant or foul odors. Knowing the anatomy of the human nose will assist you to know how the nose works, alongside the way to maintain a healthy nose.

Anatomy of the Human Nose

The anatomy of the nose is composed of parts with mutually supporting functions, thus creating a good mechanism of action. If one of them is disturbed, then the function of the nose as the olfactory organ can be disrupted. As a layman, maybe you recognize the nose from the surface appearance only. However, do you know what is in it?

Nose Anatomy Arrangement

To find out the anatomy of the nose, allow us to examine the structure of the human nose.

Two small holes

From the outside, you will only see two small holes that deliver you to the nasal cavity. These two holes act as the exit and entry of air when breathing.

Fine hairs

From the outside appearance, you will also see fine hairs attached to the nasal cavity. These feathers function to filter impurities that enter the nasal cavity. At certain moments, mucus and dirt can clot between the fine hairs of the nose.


Besides nose hairs, there are also cilia. Cilia are small networks that function like brooms. Like nasal hair, the cilia catch dirt and push it so it doesn't go down into the deeper respiratory tract. Cilia feathers are very sensitive to harmful substances, such as cigarette smoke. The ciliary function will be disrupted if exposed to these substances repeatedly. Damaged cilia can refer to health problems, such as bronchitis.

Dividing wall

Between the two holes and in the middle of the nasal cavity there is a dividing wall, known as the septum. This wall is made of bone and cartilage (soft bone). The upper dividing wall adjacent to the eye is filled with bone. Then the rest, in the middle and bottom, is filled with cartilage. That is the reason the middle and lower nose feel supple when pressed.

Nose wall

The lateral nasal wall is divided into two, namely the medial or middle wall and the lateral or sidewall. The medial wall is called the nasal bulkhead or dividing wall. The lateral wall divides the nasal cavity into four sections that open into the sinuses.


Around the nose, there are four sinuses, namely the maxillary sinus as the largest sinus in the cheekbone, frontal sinus in the middle of the forehead, ethmoid sinus in the nasal bridge between the two eyes, and the sphenoid sinus in the spinal cavity of the nose. These four sinuses are also covered by mucosa which produces a thin layer of mucus. Until now, the function of sinuses is unclear. Some say the sinuses can help moisturize the air we breathe, then some say that the sinuses can perfect the sound. When mucus, dirt, and germs are trapped in the sinuses, inflammation can occur, known as sinusitis.

How the nose works

The nose is understood because of the sense of smell. One of its functions is to find out foul-smelling food that is no longer suitable for consumption and the smell of food that is still suitable for consumption. So how does the nose work so that it makes us aware of various kinds of odors?

The air we breathe will first enter the nasal cavity. At the top of the nasal cavity is the olfactory or olfactory epithelium. The olfactory plays an important role in terms of smell because it contains receptors that can detect scents. There are about 10 million small receptors in the olfactory layer.

After successfully recognizing the odor, the receptor sends a signal to the olfactory nerve and then sends it to the olfactory bulb. Then the signal is sent to the brain to be interpreted as smell as you breathe when you breathe.

Besides, the nose also has another important role, namely as a respiratory tract. At first the air we breathe through the nostrils into the nasal cavity. Then the air will go through the filtering process in the nasal cavity. Dust or particles that are not supposed to enter the lungs will remain in the nasal cavity.

Clean air will continue its journey to the trachea or air pipe, then end up in the lungs. When we exhale, the air from the lungs will come out the same way.

How to Maintain Nose Health

The nose and sinuses are the most organs in maintaining human breathing health. Maintaining a healthy nose and breathing can be done by maintaining sinus health. There are several ways to maintain sinus health to maintain health, namely:

  • Close your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Instead, use a mask when in a public place. The aim is to avoid the transmission of viruses and bacteria. Because viruses and bacteria are the most common cause of respiratory infections.
  • Avoid the habit of touching the face with your hands. Dirty hands can be a means of spreading viruses and bacteria to the nose.
  • Wash your hands often with soap so that viruses and bacteria do not have a long time to live on your hands and spread everywhere.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke, vehicle smoke, smoke from burning rubbish, and dust. Because dirty air containing chemicals can cause problems in the sinuses and breathing.
  • Avoid allergy triggers (allergens), especially if you have a history of allergies. For example dust, pet dander, and fungus. Also, clean the air conditioner regularly so it does not become a den of viruses and bacteria.

Besides understanding the anatomy of the nose, it's also important to always attempt to maintain a healthy nose. If interference with the nose or breathing occurs, please consult a doctor.

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