(redirected from noses)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


the specialized structure of the face that serves both as the organ of smell and as a means of bringing air into the lungs. (See also Plates.) Air breathed in through the nose is warmed, filtered, and humidified; that breathed through the mouth is not.

The nostrils, which form the external entrance of the nose, lead into the two nasal cavities, which are separated from each other by the nasal septum, a partition formed of cartilage and bone. Three bony ridges project from the outer wall of each nasal cavity and partially divide the cavity into three air passages. At the back of the nose these passages lead into the pharynx. The passages also are connected by openings with the paranasal sinuses. One of the functions of the nose is to drain fluids discharged from the sinuses. The nasal cavities also have a connection with the ears by the eustachian tubes, and with the region of the eyes by the nasolacrimal ducts.

The interior of the nose is lined with mucous membrane, and most of the membrane is covered with minute hairlike projections called cilia. Moving in waves these cilia sweep out from the nasal passages the nasal mucus, which may contain pollen, dust, and bacteria from the air. The mucous membrane also acts to warm and moisten the inhaled air.

High in the interior of each nasal cavity is a small area of mucous membrane that is not covered with cilia. In this pea-sized area are located the endings of the nerves of smell, the olfactory receptors. These receptors sort out odors. Unlike the taste buds of the tongue, which distinguish between only four different tastes (salt, sweet, sour, and bitter), the olfactory receptors can detect innumerable different odors. This ability to smell contributes greatly to what we usually think of as taste, because much of what we consider flavor is really odor. (See also smell.)
Disorders of the Nose. The mucous membrane of the nose is subject to inflammation; any such inflammation is called rhinitis, which may be caused by the common cold, or by an allergy, particularly hay fever. Nasal polyps may obstruct the nasal passages. Epistaxis, or nosebleed, may be caused by an injury to the nose or may be a symptom of other diseases. The nasal septum may grow irregularly or be deflected to one side by injury; this condition is called deviated septum.
Surgery of the Nose. Nasal surgery is indicated in disorders of the nasal septum, polyps and other growths, and traumatic injury to the structures that interfere with normal nasal breathing. Cosmetic plastic surgery is also done to correct disfigurement that is disturbing to the patient.
Patient Care. Prior to surgery the patient is instructed in the kind of surgery anticipated and is informed of the immediate aftereffects of swelling and discoloration. He is told that the residual swelling may last for several weeks and success of the operation cannot be assessed until after that time.

Immediately after surgery the greatest danger is hemorrhage. If the patient swallows repeatedly or spits up blood, excessive bleeding should be suspected. A Teflon splint or intranasal packing often is used to support the nasal structures and prevent the formation of hematoma, another complication that may develop.

Ice compresses are applied for 24 hours after surgery to reduce swelling and minimize bleeding. The patient is placed in semi-Fowler position during this time.

During convalescence the patient should avoid blowing his nose and picking at crusts. A lubricant may be used to soften the crusts, but no swabs or other objects should be used to clean the nose. A humidifier in the room may help reduce drying and irritation of the mucous membranes during healing.
Nose and related structures.
artificial nose
1. a device placed between the endotracheal tube and the breathing apparatus to trap the heat and humidity in the exhaled gas and use it to warm and humidify subsequently inhaled gas.
2. an electronic system used to monitor and classify odors and gases, consisting of a sensor and a pattern recognition system; called also electric nose.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Specialized organ at the entrance of the respiratory system that conducts, warms, humidifies, and cleans the inspired air and houses the olfactory neuroeithelium; includes both the external nose and the nasal cavities.
Synonym(s): nasus (2)
[A.S. nosu]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


The part of the human face or the forward part of the head of other vertebrates that contains the nostrils and organs of smell and forms the beginning of the respiratory tract.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Anatomy The double-barrelled structure at the center of the face, which is a conduit of air
Drug slang A regionally popular street term for cocaine
Vox populi A popular term for a distinct talent for detecting something
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Anatomy The double-barrelled structure at the center of the face, which is a conduit of air for non-mouth breathers, and a support for eyeglasses. See Cocaine nose, Internal nose, Potato nose, Rabbit nose, Saddle nose, Sculptured nose, Stinky nose, Tapir nose, WC Fields nose Drug slang A regionally popular street term for cocaine.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


That portion of the respiratory pathway above the hard palate; includes both the external nose and the nasal cavity.
Synonym(s): nasus (2) .
[A.S. nosu]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


A term used both for the externally visible part and for the internal nasal air passages. The nose is the normal entry route for inspired air, which is warmed, moistened and cleaned. Chemical particles in the air stimulate the nerve endings of the olfactory nerves in the roof of the nasal cavity, giving rise to the sensation of smell.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


the projecting part of the head of higher vertebrates that usually carries the nostrils and is associated with the sense of smell.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


Specialized organ at entrance of respiratory system that conducts, warms, humidifies, and cleans inspired air and houses olfactory neuroepithelium; includes both external nose and nasal cavities.
[A.S. nosu]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about nose

Q. Regarding Seasonal Nasal allergy. My father is suffering from seasonal nasal allergies. He took a 24-hour loratadine pill, 5 hours ago. His nose is still running just like it was. Can I take a benedryl, or is it dangerous to mix loratadine and benedryl? What else can I do to stop my nose?

A. except well known drug interactions- most Dr. check it out with a computer program they have. you need to ask a Dr. or a pharmacist about it. but i can tell you that if you wait 4 times the T1/2 - that is enough to consider the drug out of the system.

Q. When seasons change , a lot of people suffer of runny nose and other common allergy symptoms , why is it always like that when seasons change ?

A. Seasonal changes tend to cause a lot of allergic reactions, and that is a known fact with no known mechanism. It is thought that perhaps the more atopic (bound to have allergies) people are, and with an atopic family histroy, they will develope more allergies during seasonal changes. One theory is that the environmental allergens, such as flower seeds or particles, tend to be in a higher shift and so they are more "in the air". Others believe it has to do with viral infections.

Q. When you get sick (runny nose, cold, cough) do you still workout?

A. Hmm, depending on how sick I am, I will usually just workout anyway. I feel it mentally helps me.

More discussions about nose
This content is provided by iMedix and is subject to iMedix Terms. The Questions and Answers are not endorsed or recommended and are made available by patients, not doctors.
References in classic literature ?
Fogg and Aouda, followed by Passepartout, who in his hurry had retained his wings, and nose six feet long, stepped upon the American steamer.
There was good luck promised out of the crook of your nose, but ye bear fruit like the bang of a drum.
"Step down the steps," says the man with the crooked nose, "and I will enter by the door above and let ye in.
That man, I fancy, has gone a very crooked road--by following his nose."
It was a bronze coin, and the colour, combined with the exact curve of the Roman nose and something in the very lift of the long, wiry neck, made the head of Caesar on it the almost precise portrait of Philip Hawker.
The only oddity one could fix was that his nose, which was otherwise of a good shape, was just slightly turned sideways at the tip; as if, when it was soft, it had been tapped on one side with a toy hammer.
He pressed his cool nose to Skipper's leg, and the rose-kiss of his tongue brought him the salt taste of sea-water.
It was sitting on a log, not a foot beyond the end of his nose. Each saw the other.
Then she fell to backing away and sneezing, her nose bristling with quills like a monstrous pin- cushion.
"To tell the truth," returned Sancho, "the monstrous nose of that squire has filled me with fear and terror, and I dare not stay near him."
"Thy advice is not bad," said Don Quixote, "for of enemies the fewer the better;" and he was drawing his sword to carry into effect Sancho's counsel and suggestion, when the squire of the Mirrors came up, now without the nose which had made him so hideous, and cried out in a loud voice, "Mind what you are about, Senor Don Quixote; that is your friend, the bachelor Samson Carrasco, you have at your feet, and I am his squire."
"And the nose?" said Sancho, seeing him without the hideous feature he had before; to which he replied, "I have it here in my pocket," and putting his hand into his right pocket, he pulled out a masquerade nose of varnished pasteboard of the make already described; and Sancho, examining him more and more closely, exclaimed aloud in a voice of amazement, "Holy Mary be good to me!