digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Nasal cavity
Illu01 head neck.jpg
Head and neck.
Illu conducting passages.svg
Conducting passages
Latin cavum nasi; cavitas nasi
Gray's p.994
MeSH Nasal+Cavity

The nasal cavity (or nasal fossa) is a large air filled space above and behind the nose in the middle of the face. Each cavity is the continuation of one of the two nostrils.


The nasal cavity conditions the air to be received by the other areas of the respiratory tract. Owing to the large surface area provided by the nasal conchae, the air passing through the nasal cavity is warmed or cooled to within 1 degree of body temperature. In addition, the air is humidified, and dust and other particulate matter is removed by vibrissae, short, thick hairs, present in the vestibule. The cilia of the respiratory epithelium move the particulate matter towards the pharynx where it passes into the esophagus and is digested in the stomach. It also aids in our sense of smell and taste.


Lateral wall of the nasal cavity is mainly made up by the maxilla, however there is a deficiency that is compensated by: the perpendicular plate of the palatine bone, the medial pterygoid plate, the labyrinth of the ethmoid and the inferior concha.

The nasal cavity is enclosed by the nasal bone above.

The floor of the nasal cavity, which forms the roof of the mouth, is made up by the bones of the hard palate: the horizontal plate of the palatine bone posteriorly and the palatine process of the maxilla anteriorly. To the front of the nasal cavity is the nose, while the back blends, via the choanae, into the nasopharynx. The paranasal sinuses are connected to the nasal cavity through small orifices called ostia.

The nasal cavity is divided in two by a vertical fin called the nasal septum. On the sides of the nasal cavity are three horizontal outgrowths called nasal conchae (singular "concha") or turbinates. These turbinates disrupt the airflow, directing air toward the olfactory epithelium on the surface of the turbinates and the septum. The vomeronasal organ is located at the back of the septum and has a role in pheromone detection.

Cilia and mucus[edit]

Cilia and mucus along the inside wall of the nasal cavity trap and remove dust and pathogens from the air as it flows through the nasal cavity. The cilia move the mucus down the nasal cavity to the pharynx, where it can be swallowed.


The nasal cavity is divided into two segments: the respiratory segment and the olfactory segment.

  • The respiratory segment is lined with ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium (also called respiratory epithelium). The conchae are located in this region. The respiratory segment has a very vascularized lamina propria allowing the venous plexuses of the conchal mucosa to engorge with blood, restricting airflow and causing air to be directed to the other side of the nose. This cycle occurs approximately every 20–30 minutes. Nose bleeds [epistaxis] in the inferior concha are common in this region.
  • The olfactory segment is lined with a specialized type of pseudostratified columnar epithelium, known as olfactory epithelium, which contains receptors for the sense of the smell. This segment is located along the dorsal roof of the nasal cavity. Histological sections appear yellowish-brown due to the presence of lipofuscin pigments. Olfactory mucosal cell types include bipolar neurons, supporting (sustentacular) cells, basal cells, and Bowman's glands. The axons of the bipolar neurons form the olfactory nerve (cranial nerve I) which enters the brain through the cribiform plate. Bowman's glands are serous glands in the lamina propria, whose secretions trap and dissolve odoriferous substances.

Blood supply[edit]

There is a rich blood supply to the nasal cavity. In some animals, such as dogs, the capillary beds flowing through the nasal cavity help cool the blood flow to the brain.

Blood supply comes from branches of both the internal and external carotid artery, including branches of the facial artery and maxillary artery. The named arteries of the nose are:


Innervation of the nasal cavity responsible for the sense of smell is via the olfactory nerve, which sends microscopic fibers from the olfactory bulb through the cribriform plate to reach the top of the nasal cavity.

General sensory innervation is by branches of the trigeminal nerve (V1 & V2):

There are two passages in the nasal cavity, not to be confused with nostrils.The entire nasal cavity is innervated by autonomic fibers. Sympathetic innervation to the blood vessels of the mucosa causes them to constrict, while the control of secretion by the mucous glands is carried on postganglionic parasympathetic nerve fibers originating from the facial nerve.


Diseases of the nasal cavity include viral, bacterial and fungal infections, nasal cavity tumors, both benign and much more often malignant, as well as inflammations of the nasal mucosa. Many problems besides the common cold can affect the nose. They include

Deviated septum - a shifting of the wall that divides the nasal cavity into halves Nasal polyps - soft growths that develop on the lining of your nose or sinuses Nosebleeds Rhinitis - inflammation of the nose and sinuses sometimes caused by allergies. The main symptom is a runny nose. Nasal fractures, also known as a broken nose

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_cavity — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
105058 videos foundNext > 

Anatomy of the Nasal Cavity.mov

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM ANATOMY: Air flow from the nose to laynx 1/2 head model

Short video describing the flow of air from the nose to the larynx. Structures identified: Nose External nares (nostrils) Vestibule Nasal cavity Nasal concha...

Half-Head Model - Nasal Cavity

This video was produced to help students of human anatomy at Modesto Junior College study our anatomical models.

6.5. Nasal Cavity, Pharynx - Head & Neck Anatomy - Dalhousie University

Other videos of this series- http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz27Rlp3y6XuPF5aT7JIXE5Q2XsvFK2NH Presented by Dr. Geeta Sinha, Department of Anatomy and ...

Anatomical dissection #19: Nasal cavity & sinuses.

Disección anatómica # 19: Cavidad nasal y senos paranasales.

Nasal Endoscopy Exam

View of the inside of the nose with an endoscope.


Отложение продуктов жизнедеятельности сапрофитов в носовых пазухах. Одна из причин обострения аллергии, астмы и заболеваний дыхательных путей.

Infected Nasal Cavity

Endoscopic Examination of Normal Nasal Cavity

Nasal endoscopic examination is a very common procedure and necessary for diagnostic and documentation purposes. Usually 0 degrees rigid endoscope being used...

Nasal cavity cancer treatment in India at best hospitals

Nasal cavity cancer treatment in India is performed by expert surgeons at some of the best hospitals in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. The nasal cavity is an are...

105058 videos foundNext > 

111 news items

Nova News Now

Nova News Now
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:28:35 -0700

Her injuries include brain trauma, a broken femur, toe, pelvis and ribs, a collapsed lung, crushed nasal cavity and eye socket damage. Despite her traumatic injuries, she was conscious when she arrived at the hospital and has since undergone several ...
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:18:45 -0700

The nasoneb device is the only nebulizer device that delivers sufficient airflow, fluid volume and particle size in high concentrations of drug throughout the entire nasal cavity for allergy, sinusitis and rhinitis. For the first time, patients who ...
MetroNews Canada
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Her injuries include brain trauma, a broken femur, toe, pelvis and ribs, a collapsed lung, crushed nasal cavity and eye socket damage. Despite her traumatic injuries, she was conscious when she arrived at the hospital and has since undergone several ...
Anderson Independent Mail
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:31:30 -0700

Head and neck cancers include cancers in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid gland, salivary glands, throat or voice box. Tobacco and alcohol use are the most important risk factors. For more information, contact Melissa Kimbrell at 864-224 ...
Times of India
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:54:27 -0700

Another research at the UIPS has also shown improvement in Alzheimer's disease when the drug was delivered through the nasal cavity. Tests were done on mice, after the drug was delivered through the olfactory cavity to their brain over a period of time.
Charleston Post Courier
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:15:00 -0700

She was treated at Trident Medical Center for swelling and bleeding to her right eye, nasal cavity, arms and knee, the report said. According to sheriff's deputies, Carrieri was injured while attempting to escort Dubois into his new cell. The inmate ...

Economic Times

Economic Times
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:45:00 -0700

Eating flowers reminds of how we also pick up smell through the back of our mouth leading up to the nasal cavity. Turkey's rose petal jam tastes nothing like the synthetic harshness of standard 'rose' f lavouring, but at first you taste nothing, and ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:00:08 -0700

His nasal cavity must be a mirror to Todd Rundgren's. Their timbres bear an uncanny resemblance, with Wilson the even more unguarded singer. Small wonder young female singers flock to him. Wilson's lack of guile or defensiveness puts him at odds with ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Nasal cavity

You can talk about Nasal cavity with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!