What is the structure of the nose?
The nose is the main olfactory organ of the body and is also part of the body’s respiratory system.
Air enters the body through the nose. By crossing the specialized cells of the olfactory system, the brain recognizes and identifies odors. The hair in the nose cleans the air of foreign bodies. When air passes through the nasal passages, it is heated and moistened before entering the lungs.

The most common disorder related to the nose is a stuffy nose. This can be caused by colds or flu, allergies or environmental influences and lead to inflammation of the nasal passages. The body’s reaction to overload expels the air by sneezing through the nose.

Nosebleeds, known medically as nosebleeds, are a second common medical problem of the nose. Up to 60% of people report having nosebleeds, with the highest rates seen in children under 10 years of age and adults over 50 years of age.

Rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery for medical and aesthetic problems of the nose.


There is a lot going on under the nasal surface. Bones and cartilage under the skin give the nose a large part of its size and shape. Other structures inside and behind the nose help with breathing. Learning the anatomy of the nose can help you better understand how the nose works.

Front and side view of the head showing the nasal cartilage.

Front view of the face showing sinuses and septum.

The bone supports the upper third (bridge) of the nose. The upper cartilage supports the side of the nose. Lower cartilage adds support, width, and height. It helps shape the nostrils and the tip of the nose. The skin also helps shape the nose.

The nasal cavity is a cavity behind the nose, through which air circulates. The septum is a thin “wall” of cartilage and bone. It divides the inside of the nose into two chambers. The mucosa is a thin tissue that lines the nose, sinuses and throat. It warms and humidifies the air you breathe. It also forms sticky mucus, which helps rid the air of dust and other small particles. The horns on each side of the nose are curved bone ridges, lined with mucous membrane. They warm and moisturize the air you breathe. Sinuses are empty cavities filled with air in the bone around the nose. The mud of the sinuses flows into the nasal cavity.

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