Anatomy & Organs

Nasal Bone – Structure, Function & Diseases

Nasal bone

The nasal bone (Latin: Os nasale ) is the largest bone of the human olfactory organ. It consists of a very thin pair of bones that runs between the eyes and covers the nasal cavity. An injury to the nasal bone should always be examined by a doctor. If left untreated, it can lead to long-term damage.

What is the nasal bone?

As part of the facial skeleton, the human nasal bone sits squarely in the center of the face . It forms the upper part of the nose and is made up of two small, elongated bones. Transversely, the nasal bone curves outwards, while lengthwise it curves inwards. As the so-called nasal roof, it encloses the nasal cavity , in the front part also with cartilage, which is intended to protect it from the risks of a rupture.

There is a small hole in the middle of the nasal bone as a passage for a vein. The nasal septum runs along the inside of the nasal bone . It acts as a partition between the two nasal cavities, which are roughly the same size. Above the nasal septum is the nasal concha, which encloses the upper nasal passage.

Anatomy & Structure

As an important bone of the human nose, the nasal bone forms part of the nasal root. Together with the frontal bone process and the upper bone processes, it protects the internal olfactory organs as a hard component. In addition, the bone acts as a firm foundation for the cartilaginous part of the nasal bone, which sits on the outside of the nose and is flexible.The cartilage of the tip of the nose, consisting of the nostrils and bridge of the nose, not only form a connection to the nasal septum, but also determine the shape of the nostrils. As an important basic structure of the respiratory organ, the solid part of the nasal bone holds the upper edge of the nasal septum in place. It divides the nose into a right and left nasal passage.

The nasal bone not only offers firm protection for the olfactory and respiratory function of the nose, but also has a decisive influence on the aesthetic appearance of the face. Many nose corrections bring about a change in the harmony of the overall impression.

Function & Tasks

Because the bone structure of the nasal bone consists of very fine bones, fractures can easily occur. If the two bone parts break through, for example through violent force such as pushing or hitting, the cartilaginous part is often also affected.

Severe pain, nosebleeds , swelling and a deformed nose are external symptoms of a broken nose and should be examined by a doctor immediately. The type of therapy depends primarily on whether the affected person has a displaced or non-displaced fracture.

In order to avoid permanent damage in both cases, medical treatment should be carried out within a week. With the help of an X-ray, the specialist can see whether fragments of the nasal bone have shifted or whether the bones are in the right place. A displaced fracture of the nasal bone, in which the shape of the nose was preserved, can grow back together without help. Decongestant pain relievers, nose drops , and a nasal support bandage are enough to heal the break.

Diseases & Ailments

If the bridge of the nose is displaced or deformed, in most cases surgical intervention is required and the nose then splinted. This intervention prevents long-term impairment of nasal breathing or the sense of smell .In the case of severe nosebleeds, a nasal tamponade usually ensures that the bleeding subsides quickly by compressing the vessels. If the nasal septum is also affected by an injury, bleeding between bone and cartilage and bone or cartilage skin can lead to a complete restriction of nasal breathing.

In almost all cases, a nasal septum hematoma must be operated on to prevent permanent damage to the nasal cartilage. During this operation, the bruise is opened and the blood is removed. With the help of a nasal pack, not only can further bruising be prevented after the procedure, but the inside of the nose can also be supported.

Painkillers, antibiotics and nasal drops also help to support the healing of the fracture. About eight to ten days after the fracture, the bones have to be put back in the right position, otherwise there is a risk that the wrong position will solidify.

A fracture of the nasal bone can also lead to what is known as a crooked nose. In many cases, this is only discovered when the swelling of the fracture has receded. A crooked nose can also occur, among other things, if growth is uneven in childhood. If this results in an uneven nasal septum, nasal breathing can also be made more difficult. In this case, surgical correction will help.

Further deformations of the entire bridge of the nose can either be congenital or arise as a result of various diseases. For example, the saddle nose – a dent in the bridge of the nose – forms either as a result of trisomy 21 in the womb, as a result of tumors on the nose or as a result of fractures. A corresponding nose operation can not only beautify the shape of the nose, but also improve the breathing of those affected.

The usually congenital hump shape of a nose can also be corrected by a plastic surgical procedure . If the nasal septum is too long in relation to the bridge of the nose, there is a so-called tension nose. Because the nostrils of a tension nose are too small in many of those affected, it leads to restricted nasal breathing in many cases. Appropriate surgery can also help in this case.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.