Nares, also known as nasal passages, are the specific pathways within the nose that allow air to enter and exit the respiratory system. It specifically refers to the two openings in the nose through which air flows. The term "nares" is derived from the Latin word "naris," meaning "nostril."
The nares are situated on either side of the nasal septum, which divides the nose into left and right sides. They serve as the primary entry points for air into the nasal cavity. The nares are lined with specialized tissues that perform important functions, such as filtering, warming, and moistening the incoming air to prepare it for the respiratory system.
In addition to their role in respiration, the nares are also involved in olfaction or the sense of smell. The odor molecules present in the air are detected by specialized cells in the nasal cavity, which send signals to the brain to interpret the smell.
Any blockage or congestion of the nares can lead to difficulties in breathing and decreased olfactory sensations. Common causes of nasal congestion include common cold, allergies, sinusitis, and nasal polyps. In such cases, various remedies like nasal decongestants, saline nasal sprays, or steam inhalation can help alleviate the symptoms and restore normal airflow through the nares.
Understanding the structure and functions of the nares is crucial for proper respiratory health and overall well-being.
The word "Nares" is derived from the Latin term "nares", which means "nostrils" or "nose". The Latin word "nares" itself traces back to the Proto-Indo-European root "neh₃r-", which signifies the concept of "nose" or "nostrils". This term has remained relatively unchanged across different languages, such as Old English "nosu" and Old High German "nasa", leading to the development of the modern English term "nose". Hence, "Nares" directly refers to the anatomical structure of the nostrils.