Breathing through the nose

When we breathe in through our nose, air goes in through the nostrils. Inside the nostrils there are lots of tiny hairs. They catch bits of dust that are in the air. Damp, sticky stuff called mucus (say mew-cus) traps more dirt and germs as they enter the nose.

There are nerves inside the nose. They take messages to the brain about the smells that come into the nose. Then the brain tells us what we are smelling. Our sense of smell also helps us to taste things.


Try tasting something while you pinch your nostrils shut. Does it taste the same? 

Gas in, gas out!

When we breathe in, we take in a gas called oxygen that our body needs. The nose warms the air before it goes down the throat and into our lungs. When we breathe out we are letting out a gas called carbon dioxide that our body doesn't want.

A sneeze is the nose getting rid of something in the air such as pollen from plants, or dust, that it doesn't like.

You can find out how a sneeze works here.

To clean the nose, blow gently into a tissue. © Getty Images

To clean the nose, blow gently into a tissue. © Getty Images

Cleaning and blowing your nose

If you need to clean your nose, blow into a tissue. Putting your fingers into your nostrils can cause an irritation and maybe an infection. Use a tissue to do this too. Always cover your nose with a tissue when you sneeze. This will catch germs and stop spreading them around

Watch a video about the nose