How Your Nose Works


KidsHealth presents,
‘How The Body Works’, with Chloe and the Nurb. So Nurb, what’s the quest? Something remarkable. Gad-zooks, that sounds terrific. Why, look, there it is! The nose! That’s it? I was expecting something
a little more impressive. More impressive than the nose? Hah! Not likely. Enlighten me. Where to start? How about the entrance? At the entrance of
the nose, you’ll find there are two
holes called nostrils. They’re separated by
something called a septum. When you breathe in
through the nostrils, the air enters the
nasal passage and heads into your nasal cavity. The nasal cavity is a space
in your head behind your nose. From the nasal cavity,
the air heads downhill, through the trachea, or
windpipe, and poof — ends up in the lung. Then the whole process happens
in reverse when you exhale. Breathing’s great and
all, but I can also breathe through my mouth. The nose is a lot more than
a hole to breathe through. It also warms, moistens,
and filters the air before it enters the lungs. How does it warm, moisten,
and filter the air? I’m glad you asked. The inside of the nose is
lined with a moist, thin layer of tissue, called a mucous
membrane, which makes mucus, that sticky
stuff in your nose. Oh. You mean snot? Wonderful, glorious snot
works with your nose hairs to capture dust, germs, and
other small particles that could irritate your lung. When the mucus, dirt, and other
debris dry and clump together, voila — you’ve got
yourself a booger. So a booger is like a trophy
your nose captures when it’s protecting your lungs? Nose trophy! Oh, sweet rightness. Now, sometimes,
your nose captures something it needs to
get rid of right now. Hey! Stop putting that
pepper on your sandwich. You’re going to make it– Ah– achoo! Sneeze. A sneeze shoots unwanted
particles out of your nose at up to 100 miles an hour! Who are you calling
an unwanted particle? Air in, air out. Warms, moistens, and filters the
air on the way, makes boogers, can shoot unwanted
stuff out your nose at 100 miles per hour. Pretty awesome stuff. Oh, but wait. There’s more! Close your eyes. What? Just do it. Smell. Mm, fresh bread. Smell. Orange — nice. Smell. Aw, a rose. You shouldn’t have. Smell. Ew, gross! Your old gym socks? You really shouldn’t have. Your nose can smell
what it smells because of the olfactory epithelium. Olfactory is a fancy
word for things that have to do with smelling. The olfactory epithelium
contains special receptors that notice them. Then the receptors send signals
along the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb. Those signals then go to
the all important brain. So that’s how I know
if I’m smelling bread, an orange, a rose. Exactly. Or say, your old, smelly sock? Wow, the nose. The nose! We salute you. Two thumbs up for the nose. For the nose, not in it. Yeah, I get that now. Can we go on the
sneeze ride again? That was awesome. Just as soon as I
get my thumbs out.

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