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Nasal Cavity

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What is a Nasal Cavity?

IVSAT 2024

The nose is one of the most important organs of the respiratory and olfactory systems. The nasal skeleton, which is a component of the nose, contains the nasal cavity. There are different functions of the nasal cavity. It helps in warming and humidifying the air that is inspired by the nose. While absorbing the air, the nasal cavity also traps and removes different particles and pathogens. 


The nasal cavity has a pivotal role to play in providing a sense of smell to the nose. It also clears and drains the lacrimal ducts and paranasal sinuses. In this article, students are going to look at the nasal cavity anatomy, its divisions, and the other components of the nasal cavity. 


Nasal Cavity Anatomy 

The nasal cavity proves to be a superior component of the entire respiratory tract in human beings. The extension of the nasal cavity is from the nose’s vestibule and it connects to the nasopharynx. There are three divisions in this tract. The vestibule forms the area that surrounds the entire anterior external opening and it leads to the nasal cavity. The respiratory region situated in the nasal cavity is lined with a pseudostratified epithelium. It is interspersed with some goblet cells that secrete the mucus. The olfactory region is situated at the apex in the nasal cavity. There are olfactory cells surrounding the region and these cells are filled with certain olfactory receptors. 


Here is a nasal cavity diagram to provide more details on the structure and anatomy of the nasal cavity. 


(Image will be uploaded soon)


Lateral Wall of Nasal Cavity

The lateral wall of the nasal chamber has two different curved bones known as the conchae. These bones are medially projecting and are inferiorly sized. The combination of the superior, as well as the middle conchae, result in the formation of the ethmoid bone. The inferior concha is a separate entity altogether. The nasal cavity also has a normal variant known as the supreme conchae. 


When these conchae are properly covered with mucus, these are known as turbinates. The main function of turbinates is to augment the entire nasal cavity’s surface area so that it can help in different processes of humidifying and warming the air. The nasal conchae ensures that more air is entering the nasal chamber and hence there is more contact with the cavity walls. These conchae also tend to disrupt the laminar and fast-flowing air making it more turbulent and slower. Since the air is spending more time in the nasal cavity, it becomes more humidified. 


There are four channels created by the turbinates. Out of these four, three of them are named meatus and the fourth channel is known as the sphenoethmoidal recess. The bones that constitute the lateral wall are the ethmoid bone, palatine bone’s perpendicular plate, a medial plate of the sphenoid bone, inferior concha, and the medial surfaces of maxillary and lacrimal bones.


Nasal Septum

Another important component of the nasal cavity structure is the nasal septum. The nasal septum divides the nasal cavity into two different but equal compartments. Components of bone as well as cartilage result in the formation of the nasal septum. It is also covered with squamous epithelium. Hence, it is a different portion altogether from the lateral wall in the nasal cavity. 


The anterior section present in the septum has a covering of erectile tissue. The nasal septum also contributes to the creation of the lateral projections that are known as upper lateral cartilages. This portion takes the middle third place of the entire nose. The septum’s bony segment remains pneumatized and with its overexpansion, can create an obstruction for the flow of air. 


The Blood Supply of Nasal Septum comes from the following Arteries: 

  • The Sphenopalatine artery, that is a component of the maxillary artery.

  • Anterior and posterior ethmoidal arteries that are branches of the ophthalmic artery.

  • The Superior labial artery that is a branch of the facial artery provides supply to the anterior section of the nasal septum.

  • The greater palatine artery which is a part of the maxillary artery provides supply to the posterior section of the nasal septum.

The Nerve Supply of Nasal Septum is due to the following Innervations:

  • The anterior ethmoidal nerve provides the supply for the posterosuperior septum.

  • Several nasal branches situated in the greater palatine nerve provide supply to the posteroinferior septum.

  • The nasopalatine nerve which is a part of the maxillary nerve (CN V2) provides the supply to the anterior septum.


Conclusion 

The nasal chamber or nasal cavity is an organ situated in the nose of a human being. With its functions of humidifying the inspired air and removing pathogens, it proves to be essential when it comes to the functioning of the respiratory as well as the olfactory system.

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FAQs on Nasal Cavity

1. What is a nasal cavity?

Ans: The nasal cavity is a structure located in the nose of human beings. It is one of the most important organs that make up the olfactory as well as the respiratory system. The nasal skeleton that is a part of the nose contains the nasal chamber. There are four different functions of the nasal cavity. It helps in keeping the inspired air warm and humidified. The walls of the nasal cavity tend to hold the air for a longer duration of time in the nasal cavity and that leads to more humidification. Also, when the nasal cavity absorbs the air, it also removes the pathogens and unwanted particles that might be present in the air. Not to mention that it also provides the nose’s sense of smell. Along with that, it drains the lacrimal ducts and paranasal sinuses. 

2. Write a note on the lateral wall of nasal cavity.

Ans: The lateral wall in the nasal cavity consists of 2 different curved bones which are termed conchae. These inferior bones are medially projected. The combination of the middle concha and the superior concha results in the formation of the ethmoid bone. However, the inferior concha is a separate entity. There is also another normal variant known as the supreme conchae. One of the main functions of the conchae is to ensure that the air inspired by the nose stays humidified. It also acts in increasing the surface area of the nasal chamber. This lateral wall of nose diagram will help students understand the concept better.


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