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Learning About the Nasal Concha

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 11/27/2009

The nasal concha is a structure of the nose that many people are not familiar with. It is important to know about this nasal structure and the possible disorders that can affect it.

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    Location

    The nasal concha makes up the nasal cavities' upper chambers. It consists of several scroll-shaped, thin bony elements and is part of the ethmoidal labyrinth. It separates the sphenoethmoidal recess from the superior meatus and projects from the nasal cavity's lateral wall. This nasal structure consists of the medial, inferior, supreme, and superior turbinates.

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    Function

    This nasal structure provides humidification and rapid warming of air as it travels to the lungs. It does this because this structure increases the nasal cavities' surface area.

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    Common Disorders

    There are several disorders that can affect the nasal concha. Nasal concha hyperplasia is a condition in which the number of normal cells in this structure increase. This can lead to growths, or an enlargement or thickening of this nasal structure. This condition can be treated with certain medications or surgery. In some cases, both treatment methods are required.

    This nasal structure can become fractured if facial trauma occurs. If it is fractured, patients may experience pain, bleeding from the nose, and swelling. In some cases, nothing needs to be done to treat a nasal fracture. In some cases, the doctor will have to push the fractured bone pieces back into place.

    Nasal polyps may affect this nasal structure. Patients who have asthma or allergies are more likely to experience them. A polyp is a fleshy growth, most often affecting the mucous membranes located in the nose. The most common symptoms include nasal congestion and nasal obstruction. Patients may also experience pain or discomfort, particularly when breathing in deeply through their noses or sneezing. In some cases, corticosteroids will be the only necessary course of treatment because they have been proven successful in eliminating or shrinking nasal polyps. However, some patients will need to have them surgically removed.

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    Resources

    Merck. (2009). Nasal Polyps. Retrieved on November 20, 2009 from Website: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec19/ch221/ch221h.html

    Merck. (2009). Fractures of the Nose. Retrieved on November 20, 2009 from Website: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec19/ch221/ch221b.html

    Medicine Net. (2009). Hyperplasia. Retrieved on November 20, 2009 from Website: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3845

    Brittanica. (2009). Nasal Concha. Retrieved on November 20, 2009 from Website: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/403779/nasal-concha

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