Nose Facts: How well do you know your nose?

Did you know about 85% of people breathe out of only one nostril at a time? For most people, switching between their left and right nostrils happens every four hours without even realising.

Even more interesting, depending on which nostril you are breathing through, you may be using significantly more air. The right requires more than the left!

We all have a nose and without it, wouldn’t be able to enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass or baking bread in the oven. But did you know your nose is much more than an accessory to hold on your sunglasses?

Get to know your nose – Five nosey facts!

  1. There are at least 14 different types of noses

A survey of 1793 noses found that noses fell into three basic classes including: the ‘Greek nose’ (straight); the ‘Hawk nose’ (sharp and downward hooking); and the most common ‘Fleshy nose’.

Our noses are made up of numerous pieces of cartilage and bone. Additionally, nasal bones, upper lateral cartilages and lower cartilages also determine the shape of our noses, so don’t worry if you aren’t Greek, Hawk or Fleshy!

Whatever the shape of your nose, MUTE has three sizes to fit the majority of nose shapes.

  1. The nose grows downwards

While the overall nose shape is mostly formed by the age of 10, noses continue to grow until 17 – 19 years in men, and 15 – 17 years in women, albeit at a rapidly decreased rate.

Gravity means our noses are susceptible to drooping with age. As the natural collagen and elastin in our skin deteriorates, our skin loses its strength and elasticity.

  1. Your nose is the world’s best filter

Lined with hair, each of your nostrils is responsible for catching germs and dust that’s floating in the air.

As you inhale, the dusty air enters the nose and swirls past grooves in the nasal cavity. This movement and churning warms and moistens the air, which in turn acts as a protection for sensitive lung tissue.

During this filtration process, the nasal cavity’s mucus lining is able to capture airborne cold viruses and pollen which can’t be stopped by nostril hair alone.

Bonus fact: for this reason, it’s better to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth on a cold day!

  1. Your nose is connected to your memory centre

Ever wondered why roasting marshmallows reminds you of camping trips when you were younger? There’s a good reason for this! Directly connected to the limbic system, the process of smelling is connected to the part of the brain responsible for attributing emotion to memories of events.

Unlike other neural signals such as sight and touch which go through a brain relay station, smell is the only scent that directly links to the brains hippocampus (memory formation) and amygdala (emotion and memory processing centre).

  1. My nose can detect HOW many smells?

The average human nose can detect more than 10,000 scents, which plays a major role in the way we experience the world, and why sometimes we have different experiences of the same thing!

When you walk past a smell, molecules of that scent enter your nose and waft over an olfactory sensor at the top of the nasal cavity. They activate receptors that transmit chemical signals to the olfactory bulb, a central processor in your brain that registers the scent.

It is this olfactory ability which plays a major role in the way we individually experience the world – as one of our five sensory experiences.

Just as no human face is the same, neither is a human nose. Whether Greek, Hawk or Fleshy, our noses are amazing parts of our bodies which is often overlooked – or literally looked over!

Learnt something new about your nose? Why not share it!

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