The Nose And Its Natural Air Filters

A sticky mucous (MYEW-kus) membrane lines the nasal cavity. It secretes nasal mucus (MYEW-kus) or ''nose slime'' (muc). Working with the nose hairs, the nasal mucus captures dirt and debris sucked into the nasal cavity during inspiration (in-spir-AY-shun). Inspiration is literally the ''process of" (-tion) ''breathing'' (spir) ''into'' (in-) the body. The nasal hairs and mucus act like natural air filters during inspiration.

A rich vascular network lies just deep to the mucous membrane. The hot blood coursing through the vessels in this network serves to warm the air as it is being inhaled through the nostrils. The nasal mucus provides additional help by moistening the inspired air as it moves through the nasal cavity.

After the nasal and oral cavities, inspired air goes into the pharynx (FAIR-inks) or ''throat'' (pharyng).

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