Authored by Revere Health

The Nose Knows

July 20, 2016 | Ear, Nose, Throat

Your Nose is a Built In Air Filter

We do not have enough knowledge of the nose to properly assess its full ability; however, we do know that our noses are much more powerful than we give them credit for. When was the last time you really took an account of what your nose can do? Here are a few statistics that may just pique your interest.

Your Nose – A Built-in Air Filter

Your nose is actually your lungs’ first line of defense as an air filter, although it does not have the capacity to overcome a huge smoking habit. The hairs in your nostrils block the germs and dust from the outside, and the special grooves in your nasal cavity, known as turbinates, help to warm the air as it moves into your lung system. The mucus in your nose will eventually filter anything that remains.

When your nose produces extra mucus during cold season, this is your body’s way of trying to get rid of the extra germs.

10,000 Scents

It has been proven that the human nose can detect around 10,000 different scents. The average human has over 12 million receptor cells in the nose. However, this number peaks at around age 8 and goes down with age. This means that older people have a tougher time smelling everything.

It has been hypothesized, and arguably proven, that the sense of smell is the most elastic sense we have. When the other senses are lost, say in blind or deaf people, the nose tends to make up for the loss of information. In these cases, the number of scents that a human has been able to discern has risen from 10 thousand to 10 million.

Smelling Helps Memory

Your nose is one of the main ways that you remember things. Smell is actually the only one of the five major senses that does not have to go through an extra filter to get to the brain, making it especially powerful when it comes to memory and emotion. The information from the sense of smell goes straight to the thalamus, the part of the brain responsible for translating sensory information into brain signals.

When you smell something that is familiar to you from your childhood, it brings back childhood memories because the thalamus sends information to the parts of the brain responsible for learning and memory, the hippocampus and the amygdala.

It has been proven that the human nose can detect around 10,000 different scents. The average human has over 12 million receptor cells in the nose.

The nose is an extremely important part of everything that we do, and is an important part of living a good lifestyle—so take care of it.

Any problems with your nose should be immediately addressed with an ENT. Give the dedicated experts at Revere Health a call if you are experiencing any negative symptoms concerning your nose.


Our specialists have received extensive training and completed a variety of procedures, offering the best ENT care for our patients. Our team also has access to a variety of specialties to ensure that patients receive coordinated care.



The Live Better Team

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.