IN EXPERIMENTAL studies of the nasal mucous membranes of human subjects, Holmes and his associates1 were able to make roughly quantitative observations on the state of vascular engorgement, the amount of mucous secretion, and the degree of obstruction. They recognized in the air-conditioning function of the nose a protective mechanism which was capable of guarding the respiratory tract against the inhalation of irritating substances. During the warming and moistening of inspired air the membrane covering the turbinate bones and nasal septum becomes engorged, so that it partially obstructs the nasal passages and causes the inspired air to be thrown into eddy currents. The degree of engorgement governs the length of the excursion of air through the nasal passages and also the quantity of air admitted in a unit of time. Normally there was observed an alternation of hyperemia and engorgement of the mucous membranes from one side of the
WOLF S. REACTIONS IN THE NASAL MUCOSAE: Relation of Life Stress to Chronic Rhinitis and "Sinus" Headache. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1954;59(4):461–475. doi:10.1001/archotol.1954.00710050473005
Otolaryngology in JAMA: Read the Latest
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.