THE FUNCTIONS OF THE NOSE 2

First of all, the nose is designed in such a way that the mucous membranes keep dust and bacteria from entering the body, provided, of course, that we breathe in and out through the nose and that it is not blocked. It is true that we can also breathe through the mouth rather than the nose, but this will make us lose the benefit of the built-in screening device, exposing us to a higher risk of catching colds and infections. Mouth-breathing poses a definite threat to the throat, the bronchial passages and the lungs.

It is interesting to note that the nostrils react to pleasant and unpleasant odours by a simple dilation or contraction of the walls, thus increasing or decreasing the flow of air. Strangely enough, the nose walls (conchae) also react to cold feet. When the feet are cold the walls contract, become cold and dry and cause the glands to stop functioning, so that dust and bacteria are no longer filtered out. It is easy to see why a cold will almost inevitably result, followed by catarrh or a runny nose. You can now understand why it is important to avoid getting cold feet and inhaling bacteria by breathing through the mouth. If the mucous membranes are functioning properly they are able to destroy all cold germs entering through the nose. It is therefore a necessary requirement for good health to cultivate the habit of breathing through the nose at all times.

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